Saturday, February 28, 2009

Life, rescheduled

Yesterday morning I met with Boss and was laid off from the job I've been at for the past five years. Of course he said he was all broken up about it and felt terrible, blah blah blah. But I'm pretty bent that he's keeping our SysAd on staff. SysAd left the company to work for someone else and was doing "on call" occasional work for my company for about a year. Then a month or so ago he got laid off from that job and he's been essentially working full time at our company again. So I feel like I got dumped so that my boss could keep paying the SysAd -- you know, the one who hasn't been working loyally for the company for FIVE YEARS straight. Am I pissed off? Hell yes.

And of course, looking back over the course of the past week I can see how they were trying to finish up outstanding issues in which my expertise was required. And it really pisses me off that I got ONE day of notice before the end of the month, which is effectively the end of my health insurance. Meaning, if I want uninterrupted health insurance, I have to do COBRA for at least a month. I cannot be without health insurance; I have too many issues, between the high blood pressure and the cholesterol and the skin cancer and everything. I also can't get individual health insurance; I've been denied coverage before, and that was even before I got diagnosed with the skin cancer.

And this brings us to the rescheduling portion of our program. Because Mr Wonderful works at a hospital, he has excellent health benefits, and I will be covered by those same excellent health benefits as soon as we're married. So we're moving up the wedding; we're getting married this week, at the county courthouse. This is not the way I pictured my wedding. This is pretty much the OPPOSITE of what I wanted - although we'll be keeping it very small, I wanted something that was more personal and meaningful. And now we are having this rushed wedding, done as cheaply as possible, with possibly NO family there (my father might be able to make it, but that's it). This is not what I wanted, and it's definitely not what Mr Wonderful wanted. I am pretty depressed about it, actually. I've got this beautiful dress that hasn't arrived yet, but is totally paid for, and I won't get to wear it to my wedding. We were going to get married at a beautiful winery, with amazing food and flowers and our family surrounding us. And we may still have some kind of ceremony and reception later, after I get a new job and we can afford it, but it's not going to be on the day we get married. And that just makes me want to curl up and cry.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Mr Wonderful and I are now at the point in the wedding planning where we need to make a decision about a caterer. And the best part about this is that you get to run around meeting various caterers and tasting free food.

On Sunday, we went to a caterer-sponsored "wedding faire" kind of thing, where there's a few vendors hawking their wedding-related shit (like photographers, officiants, etc.) but mostly it was a way for the caterer to get a bunch of people in one room and show how awesome their buffet can be. And I gotta say...not so impressed with the food. The problem with a buffet is that it always feels like you're at Bob's Big Boy smorgasbord, and the food has been sitting around for a couple of hours and picked over by a few hundred people, even when there's only like 50 people in the room and they are constantly bringing out fresh food. It still LOOKS ghetto, no matter how much you pretty it up with fancy table linens and stuff. And it still pretty much tastes like cardboard, because they are serving food for the lowest common denominator. You know, you can't make anything too spicy, because people have varying levels of spice-tolerance. So everything ends up tasting pretty much the same.

We really only liked two things about the event: one was a table setup (flowers, napkins, etc.) that I took a picture of on my phone, and the other was a cake sample that was absolutely delicious: lemon cake with passionfruit buttercream. It sounded like an odd combination, but it was so light and bright and uplifting - really an excellent flavor combination.

Tonight we're heading out to Concord to meet with a caterer & do a tasting, and I'm in discussions with a couple of other caterers as well. It's difficult sometimes to schedule the meetings because Mr Wonderful works swing shift and when he's got the weekend off, we have the kids. So it's a bit of a shuffle, but the catering is the most important part of our wedding, as far as I'm concerned, so I'm willing to spend extra time and actually go out of my comfort zone and talk to people on the phone (gasp!). Truly, I hate talking on the phone. I'd so much rather email - you always have the option to revise your statement before the person actually sees it. I just feel so stupid when I have to talk about something - I can never get my thoughts straight before something dumb pops out of my mouth.

Anyway, so...caterers. Anyone have a caterer they've used for a special event and thought was absolutely fantastic?

Monday, February 23, 2009


I broke down and ordered Swingtown on DVD from Amazon. I just love that show; watching half-naked Grant Show and his glorious porn 'stache was one of the things I loved best about last summer. So now I can watch this horribly underrated show whenever I want, even if I never get to see a new episode again. Stupid CBS for sucking me in to an awesome show and then dropping it like a hot potato.

Speaking of weird show cancellations, WTF with Pushing Daisies, y'all? I cannot believe they've dropped that show. Didn't it win Emmys last year? And this year, ABC just unceremoniously drops it...without even airing the final three episodes! ARGH!

In fact the only show that I absolutely adore that's still on the air is LOST. Yes, I watch a bunch of other shows, but nothing else gets me as excited as Wednesday evening. And I'm trying SO hard to unravel all the mysterious crap that's going on, that I've decided to have a LOST marathon. I watched season one this past weekend, and am a bit more than halfway through season two now. I've got all four seasons on DVD and the fifth season (so far) is stored on the DVR.

So tell me, what shows do you adore? What should I load my DVR up with? Because Grey's Anatomy is boring as hell now, and even Ugly Betty is tiresome this year.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Nothing better than free stuff, right? Well, today, I got a FREE tooth whitening kit from my dentist. Not just any crap-ass whitening kit either; he made custom molds of my teeth and gave me the good stuff. This is like a $300 tooth whitening kit that he just gave me.

I totally love my dentist. And that is saying a dentist phobia is near-legendary. In fact, I won't go to the dentist - even for a routine cleaning! - without sedation anymore. I have had countless dentists dismiss my fears for years, and guess what? I would go once, and then never again. It would be literally years before I would get up the guts to visit a new dentist. Once I had a dentist who gave me nitrous for a cleaning and that didn't help at all. But this dentist prescribes me valium before each visit, no questions & no hassles, and I happily lay there in a fog with my ipod blaring while he scrapes & polishes my teeth.

I know, it seems extreme. But this is what makes it possible for me to lay down in that chair once every six months, so that's what I do. I'm just glad I found a dentist who's willing to do what it takes to make sure I get regular checkups. So if anyone in far east CoCo County needs a new dentist, hit me up in the comments. I'd be happy to refer you to the best dentist in the world.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The sky is falling

Am I the only one totally freaking out about California's complete inability to pass a fucking budget? I'm not sure I'll ever see the $1300 that California owes me as a tax refund this year. And frankly, if it means keeping the schools open, and police and firefighters working in our communities, that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

But I'm starting to think California is going to declare bankruptcy before this mess is over. And THAT scares the hell out of me.

All you need is love

If you haven't seen Across the Universe yet, you really should. Beautifully made, with AMAZING covers of Beatles songs that are integrated seamlessly into the story. I just bought this movie on Blu-Ray; I had already rented it twice from Blockbuster and just had to have it.

In other news, we opened up savings accounts for the kids this weekend. They will be able to deposit & withdraw money using their very own ATM cards and we can automatically deposit their allowance into the account. How easy is that? :) Plus they love the idea of having their own ATM cards (even if they won't have the Visa logo and therefore cannot be used for point-of-sale purchases).

Mr Wonderful and I also opened up a joint checking account. This will be used for wedding purchases at first, and then will be our joint household account afterwards. I deposited the unexpected escrow rebate check I got from my mortgage company last week. The good news is that my mortgage is going down. The bad news is that my house value has dropped so far that I'm now upside down in my mortgage by about $100K (including home equity line). Stupid economy.

Dad & Stepmom visited yesterday. I made them watch the movie. :) I also made a healthier version of the Yum Yum Chicken Enchilada Casserole which was quite tasty, although it needed more kick. And cilantro. I was out of cilantro.

Aaaaand lastly, I started on my wedding shawl (stole? scarf? I never know what the proper terminology is) on Valentine's Day. I thought that was fitting. :) Mr Wonderful's Bad-Ass Cabled Hoodie is not yet finished but I'm getting worried about time now, with only 7 1/2 months left before the wedding. I don't want to be rushing to finish my scarf in the last week before the wedding. The pattern I'm using is Canterbury Bells, and I'm knitting it with Malabrigo Lace in Vaa (a dark green/blue color).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Gin 'n' Juice: redneck version

One of my favorite cover songs, like, EVER. Imagine a country band covering Snoop Dogg. This is worth the price of admission, folks.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Darth Vader

Seeing James Earl Jones in a movie other than Star Wars is just so surreal. I keep hearing Darth Vader's voice coming out of this big black man and it's totally freaking me out.

Monday, February 09, 2009

One more reason why I love him

Because he once had a dream in which he was the ShamWow guy.

Lost & found

I was convinced that the car had a black hole which had consumed not only my ATM card (lost immediately after renting movies) but my camera, as well. Turns out the ATM card was stuck between the driver's seat and the center console. Which would have been good to figure out before I called my bank and told them the card was lost and to please send me a new one.

The camera was a little tougher, but I finally found it in a Target shopping bag near the front door, mere moments before Mr Wonderful & I took off for the annual very-belated "Christmas" retreat with my company. The bag also contained my amazing, scary longline bra that I bought to wear with my wedding dress. This bra is unbelievable. It looks like it could safely corral a couple of watermelons. Are my boobs really that big? Jesus.

So I finally have my camera back, and can start foodblogging again. I even have the pictures of the yummy lentil soup on the flash card.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Black hole

I lost my camera, y'all! I have no idea where it is...I haven't seen it since before Christmas. We didn't even take pictures on Christmas morning! I think the cleaning ladies may have put it somewhere odd and we just haven't run across it yet. But this means that my food blogging is STILL on hiatus...I can't even put up the yummy lentil soup recipe I made because I don't have the picture that is still on the flash card in my camera. *sigh*

However, I do have one thing to report on: I got samples of the new Quaker True Delights granola bars from Foodbuzz. There are three flavors: Dark Chocolate Raspberry Almond, Honey Roasted Cashew Mixed Berry, and Toasted Coconut Banana Macadamia Nut.

The first one I tried was the Honey Roasted Cashew flavor, and WHOA! That thing is SWEET. I admit, I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but it was extreme even for Mr Wonderful, who's got a bit of a thing for candy. Strong honey flavor. I couldn't really taste any berry at all, but the cashews were nice. I love cashews.

Secondly, I tried the Toasted Coconut Banana one. I was a bit wary, because I usually find banana-flavored things either disgusting (faux-banana flavored candy, for example) or just okay. This was pretty nice though; it tasted mostly like banana bread with macadamia nuts thrown in. I couldn't really taste the coconut at all, which is a shame because I'm a big coconut fan.

The last one I tried (and of course the first one Mr Wonderful snagged) was the Dark Chocolate Raspberry one. So sue me, I'm not much of a chocoholic. ;-) There was less chocolate than I expected, and not a whole lot of raspberry or almond either. It was pretty hit or miss - some bites were strongly chocolate or strongly raspberry, if you got a big chunk of one of those in that bite, but I didn't taste the almond at all. I think the almond is so close to the natural oat flavor, and the almond pieces are so small (maybe slivers of almond? I didn't see any big chunks) that they don't really come through.

All in all, they were nice if you're looking for a substitute for a candy bar, but I wouldn't call these health food by any stretch of the imagination. They were far too sweet for me (except maybe the chocolate raspberry, oddly enough), and I thought the balance of flavors was a little off in each one. If you're going to advertise "Mixed Berry" in the name of the product, you should have that flavor at least be detectable.