Sunday, October 28, 2007

Happy Friggin' Halloween...

When I was a kids, I loved Halloween--what kid wouldn't? You got to play dress-up, stay up passed your bedtime and go around getting free candy. It was amazing. My grandma used to make all my costumes for me, so I always had something original...and amazing. I was a gypsy one year, The Greatest American Hero another, a saloon girl, a bride, and various other nifty things. I loved it--I would want to wear my costume all the time and I thought it was great.

But now, for me, Halloween has lost it's fun.

TJ and I went to a Halloween party last night. These people went all out--they decorated more for Halloween than I do for Christmas. It was cool, don't get me wrong--they had their walls covered, their bathroom was a morgue, they had dry ice and smoke machines...the works. It was obvious that they put a lot of time and effort into this (hell, they had the animated life-size creepy butler from the Adam's Family...and she said that was their Sweetest Day present to each other...they really like Halloween).

The invitation said that everyone dresses up in their best costumes...and, based on what I saw last night, they do. I literally groaned when I saw that on the invitation, though--first of all, I hate dressing up. Second of all, Halloween costumes are expensive--I rarely pay $50.00 on actual clothes...why would I pay that for something that I will never wear again? Last, but not least...have you SEEN costumes for women at the stores? Most of them make us look like we charge by the hour. Honestly--Playboy has a line of costumes out now...what says "trick-or-treat" better than the lonely milk maid?

But, the invitation said I had to have a costume...

...So, I bought a cat mask for $3.99.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #5

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

13 Movies that Creep Me Out (But I watch them anyway)

1. Psycho
2. Pet Semetary
3. Christine
4. Poltergeist
5. The Exorcist
6. Nightmare on Elm Street
7. Halloween
8. Child's Play
9. It
10. Arachnophobia
11. 1408
12. Carrie
13. Silence of the Lambs

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Merci, Marci!

Marci, from The Myriad Musings of Marci, has bestowed upon me the Community Blogger Award! Check it out:

I want to thank Marci for giving me this award. It means a great deal to have someone say that you are part of something bigger than yourself, and I think this award does just that.

I am going to pass this award on to people at a later time...but I wanted to thank Marci...and brag, of course :-)

Wordless Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Heads or Tails Tuesday!

Today's topic is "train."

I know that Skittles did this with her hubby in mind (smile) because he likes trains. My uncle was also a model train fanatic...he even sets up a Christmas display at a local museum each year and he travels to model train conventions (did anyone else know that they had those?), but although I now which "train" inspired today's topic, it got me to thinking about one of the main reasons that the English language is so hard to learn.

I looked up "train" on here is what I found:

1. Railroads. a self-propelled, connected group of rolling stock.
2. a line or procession of persons, vehicles, animals, etc., traveling together.
3. Military. an aggregation of vehicles, animals, and personnel accompanying an army to carry supplies, baggage, ammunition, etc.
4. a series or row of objects or parts.
5. Machinery. a connected set of three or more rotating elements, usually gears, through which force is transmitted, or motion or torque changed.
6. order, esp. proper order: Matters were in good train.
7. something that is drawn along; a trailing part.
8. an elongated part of a skirt or robe trailing behind on the ground.
9. a trail or stream of something from a moving object.
10. a line or succession of persons or things following one after the other.
11. a body of followers or attendants; retinue.
12. a series of proceedings, events, ideas, etc.
13. the series of results or circumstances following or proceeding from an event, action, etc.; aftermath: Disease came in the train of war.
14. a succession of connected ideas; a course of reasoning: to lose one's train of thought.
15. Astronomy.
a.the trace of light created by a meteor falling through the earth's atmosphere.
b.the tail of a comet.
16. a line of combustible material, as gunpowder, for leading fire to an explosive charge.
17. Physics. a succession of wave fronts, oscillations, or the like.

–verb (used with object)
18. to develop or form the habits, thoughts, or behavior of (a child or other person) by discipline and instruction: to train an unruly boy.
19. to make proficient by instruction and practice, as in some art, profession, or work: to train soldiers.
20. to make (a person) fit by proper exercise, diet, practice, etc., as for an athletic performance.
21. to discipline and instruct (an animal), as in the performance of tasks or tricks.
22. to treat or manipulate so as to bring into some desired form, position, direction, etc.: to train one's hair to stay down.
23. Horticulture. to bring (a plant, branch, etc.) into a particular shape or position, by bending, pruning, or the like.
24. to bring to bear on some object; point, aim, or direct, as a firearm, camera, telescope, or eye.
25. to entice; allure.

–verb (used without object)
26. to give the discipline and instruction, drill, practice, etc., designed to impart proficiency or efficiency.
27. to undergo discipline and instruction, drill, etc.
28. to get oneself into condition for an athletic performance through exercise, diet, practice, etc.
29. to travel or go by train: to train to New York.

Did you catch that? 29 possible definitions for the word train (some of which I have never even thought about...honestly..."train your hair?). Imagine if you are new to the language and someone uses this word--and you have to figure out which of the 29 definitions that person meant.

So, the next time you have what you think to be a simple word in front of you--look it up. You may just find the opposite to be true.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Why Is It...

Why is it okay for people to badger married women about when they are going to have babies? When did it really become any one's business but the married couples'? Honestly...

I was at a baby shower yesterday. I don't mind going to's fun, really, to see people and to play cheesy games and to see how happy the mother-to-be is. I don't mind that all. What I do mind is the way that everyone starts grilling me about when TJ and I are going to have babies.

"Oh, Shan, won't it be nice when this is your shower?"

"Oh, Shan, won't
you just be so cute when you're pregnant?"

"Shan, when are you going to have a baby?"

"Whoever wins the next shower game has the next baby...Shn, looks like you're winning!"

Really...I get it. We've been married for five years, I am getting ready to turn (gulp) thirty, and we built a house with kids in mind...but we aren't ready to take that step yet. I know people say you are never really ready...but TJ and I are smart enough to know that we are REALLY not ready...we have things we want to do for us first. We've talked about it an we know what we want to do...

It just seems that many other people don't get that.

And, while I am at it, why is it okay for perfect strangers to rub a pregnant woman's belly? You don't do that to non-pregnant women, do you? So, pregnant ladies, here is a bit of advice for you: next time someone you don't know touches your it back to them. Se how well they like it!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Auntie Em, Auntie Em!

Wow--we just had an interesting weather night here in Rambling Shan land...

Last night I was lounging on my couch trying to watch the episode of CSI that I had taped earlier. I fell asleep and woke up about 20 minutes later to a severe weather alert...first of all, interesting that my DVR is overridden when there is a sever weather alert. Second of all, holy cow...this was a massive storm...and it was headed right for us. I have never seen so much red in a storm in all my life...

And it came with tornado warnings.

So TJ and I start making all the necessary precautions--we called my parents (because we knew they were sleeping and unaware of the impending storm), got the weather radio, got the flashlight and candles ready, unplugged all of out major electronic devices, grabbed the dogs' leashes and waited. As we watched the news they said there were 100 MPH winds and hail up to 2 inches. This storm was dropping rain at a speed of 2 inches an hour (and considering we haven't had much rain around here, this is a lot--and could cause some major problems). The lightening that was going on outside was creepy--it was like someone was bombing the apartment complex across from us...the sky just kept lighting up.

We both sat in bed and continued to watch the news and around 11:30, a tornado warning was issued for our area. We grabbed shoes and the weather radio, grabbed the dogs and headed down to the basement, ready for anything. We sat on the floor watching the weather and waiting.

Just as soon as it started, it was over--it's like the storm just lost something. We were relieved and went back upstairs (well, most of us...for some reason Gizmo refused to walk back up the stairs so TJ had to go and carry him up.)

We slept with the weather radio on since the weather guy said that the storms would last through the night and that they were all capable of tornadoes. Needless to say, neither of us got much sleep...and now I am working my way through coffee and plan on more caffeine throughout the day. It was an odd night and I am glad that it is over. Hopefully tonight will be more peaceful.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #4

Here is my fourth edition of Thursday Thirteen...

Thirteen Things That Make Me Happy (in no particular order)

  1. My family. Sure, my brother used to drive me crazy and I always thought my parents were over protective, but that's what families do. I couldn't have made it this far without them!

  2. My husband. Things aren't always smooth sailing (are they in any marriage?), but we are happy together and we support each other, so that's all that matters.

  3. My friends. I lost tough with a lot of people as I grew up, but I also met some great people along the way. I couldn't get through those rough patches without them. They make my life a better one.

  4. My dogs. Cheesy, I know, but they are a bright spot in my day. They are quirky and drive my crazy sometimes, but they are mine and I adore them.

  5. Yoga. I discovered it about six months ago. I wasn't sure if I would like it or if it would be the thing for me, but it turns out that it is. I am happy to work out again and I feel better than I have in years. It gives me balance to what could be crazy days.

  6. Good jazz music. I discovered jazz when I was in high school and fell in love with it. It is soothing and relaxing and fabulous. And when I say good jazz, I don't mean Kenny G...

  7. Gevalia Coffee. This has turned me into a coffee snob--I won't drink anything else unless I have to...

  8. Unexpected snow days. I'm a teacher--there is nothing better than waking up and being surprised by the fact it snowed overnight and you don't have to go anywhere.

  9. Sunshine. I know that it's bad for you, but I love sitting out and letting the sun hit my face.

  10. My whirlpool tub. This was the one thing I was firm about having when we built or house...and it is fabulous on those unexpected snow days.

  11. Movies. I watch a ton of them--and I watch a lot of them over and over again. They take me to other places and I love that.

  12. Barnes and Noble...yes, in general, that store makes me happy. I could spend hours in there. The atmosphere is fantastic and I love the fact that I can browse and browse and browse.

  13. Football season. I love it...I spend my Sundays watching games and hoping my beloved Packers win...

I know there are more things that make me exceedingly happy, but the meme is Thursday Thirteen, so I'll leave it at that.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wordless Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Today, In a Word, Sucked.

So, you all know I have not been feeling well since my trip to the ER on Saturday. I tried to get in to see the doctor yesterday (since I was off), and they had no appointments. So, like a trooper, I went to work today...and felt horrible. The pain when I try to breath in is horrible. So, I call my doctor AGAIN, and (miraculously) they have an appointment for 4.

Sweet Relief...or so I though.

So I leave work early, come home, relax, go to the doctor and he says he knows exactly what the problem is and that he would call in a prescription for some steroids that will bring down the inflammation. Thank God...I left the office at 4:45 feeling like the trip was worth it.

I was wrong.

Here I am, at 9:20...and still no medicine. Why? Because my doctor apparently forgot to call it in. So that means that I get to go back to work tomorrow in just as much pain as I went toady. TJ says stay home...I can't--I have too much to do tomorrow and I just can't stay home.

So I have literally been in tears for over an hour now...out of frustration, pain, anger and everything else that goes along with today.

In addition, I just found out that the weekend of my birthday (my big 30) I don't get to have a party or a family get together or do what I want to do...instead I get to go to a work function with TJ. Spiffy--just what I want to do. Spend my birthday weekend with people that I don't know. Great.

I bet tomorrow is just as stellar as today...considering I have no prescription and no pain medicine that comes close to making me feel better.

I can't wait.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My Hiatus

Those of you who stop by on a regular basis may have noticed I haven't posted since Wednesday. I have many reasons for that, so I thought I would share with you...

A couple of weeks ago I had two major student crises to take care of. Both had okay outcomes, but I was stressed out for days. Stressed out to the point that even yoga wasn't calming me down, so I couldn't even think of anything to write about...

We reached the end of our first quarter at school which means all of our grades are due. So silly me collected 150 book reviews last Thursday and they have to be graded. They are not fun to grade nor are they quick to grade, so much of my spare time has been spent doing that.

In addition, we are on "fall break" (which is why we started so early this get this lovely fall break...although my mom had Friday and Monday off, too, and they started a week after us...go figure). I have been trying to relax and regroup after the first quarter of work, so I have been catching up on some shows that I taped (Pushing Daisies, America's Next Top Model, and CSI). I have also been playing Tiger Woods '08 for X-Box 360 (I can't golf in real life, so I golf there...and I am pretty good at it.) TJ and I have also been spending some time together and my mom and I have been indulging in some shopping therapy :-)

Yesterday, I got up early and graded papers for about three hours, did some yoga, trimmed the dog's nails, and gave them baths. Around midnight TJ and I were playing Tiger Woods and I got a stabbing pain in my left chest when I breathed. It came on so sudden that it freaked me out. I figured it was just one of those things (we all have had them happen--you breath, you get a pain, you breath in real deep and it goes away). This one didn't go away, so at 12:30 this morning TJ and I were on our way to the ER.

We got there and had to wait (of course), and I finally got called back. I waited for the doctor, told him my symptoms and he said he thought it was a collapsed lung and that we needed to pray for a clear chest x-ray. Collapsed lung? That didn't sound good, so I started to freak out. And we waited...for 30 minutes to get the x-ray. The doctor came back, said it came out clean, and started trying to figure out what else it could be. He said it could be a blood clot, so he was going to order more tests. I was hooked up to a heart monitor and, and the thought of blood tests, I must have panicked because my heart-rate skyrocketed...which led him to ask if I was anxious about something. want to stick needles in me and you think I have a blood clot...of course I am anxious!

So they ran more tests...and they all come back clean. He said he things it is skeletal muscular and sent me was 4 in the morning by this time, and I was exhausted (partially because they gave me a sedative or something while I was there). Now I am on ibruprofin for the pain and I am supposed to wait it out a few days to see if it goes away. If it doesn't back to the doctor I go.

This is not exactly how I wanted to spend my fall break. I had plans of relaxation and getting some work ready for Tuesday. Now it looks like I have a whole lot of nothing planned. Maybe I'll catch up on blog visits and blog posting...who knows.

Right now I am heading back to my couch and my football game. I will swing by later to vist all of you. Have a great Sunday!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wordless Wednesday!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Family Dinners

I often wonder if anyone cooks meals at home anymore. I wonder this because of how crowded restaurants are on random Tuesdays. I know that we always had dinner as a family (we called it supper then) everyday during the week. We ate at the same time everyday (six) and we all sat down together. We rarely had fast food. It was a treat if Mom or Dad stopped at McDonald's on the way home from work. This changed a little when my brother and I started working, but we still tried to eat together as much as we could.

Today, things seem much different. When I ask my students when the last time they had dinner as a family, they shrug and some say the holidays. That saddens me. This is the time when they should be enjoying being a family because soon those times will be gone.

And it isn't just my students. It's society, too. Pizza Hut has a new commercial about "dad's cooking dinner tonight" and the family walks in and dad has ordered Pizza Hut. The wife is soooo excited. In my mind I think "that isn't cooking for your family." I know that if TJ were to say he was cooking for me and I came home to Pizza Hut pizza and breadsticks, I would not run up and hug him in a passionate way. I would wonder why he couldn't take the time and effort to prepare a meal.

Bob Evans has jumped on that train, too. The scene? A big country farmhouse (complete with triangle used to call hungry farm hands). Farmer rings the triangle and yells "DINNER!" and no one comes. He continues to yell and no one comes. He rings a gong and the whole family appears next to the car...because they want stir fry at Bob Evans. What happened to the good home cooking that we usually see coming out of kitchens like that?

I will admit that I don't always love cooking or cleaning up the mess, but I like the idea of eating at home and cooking for the people that you care about. I understand the need to go out to eat every now and then, but many people go everyday...and I think that our family values and togetherness will suffer because of it. I know that TJ and I have decided that when we have a family, fast food will be a rare treat and family dinners will be common place.

I know a lot of people who have taken the fast food route and are okay with it...and if it works for them, I am not going to attack or say that it is wrong. I just think that everyone should take a few days a week to actually cook for their family. I know that it made a world of difference for me. I may not have always liked what we had for dinner, but I always liked who I shared dinner with. And I also knew that my mom had taken time out of her day to make it for me, so I felt special.

Cheesy? Maybe. Truth? Certainly.

Now that I am an adult, we still have family dinners. Every Sunday my mom and dad cook huge meals and we all go over and eat. It is great to take some time to sit together and talk and share food. It bridges any gaps that may have arisen in the week that has passed. Sometimes I take the dinner and everyone comes here. It's nice to sit down behind a plate of food that was made with love instead of with resentment. It's nice to share a meal with people I care about instead of strangers. And it's nicer still to know that it is a family tradition that will carry on through time.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Thursday Thirteen!

Today's Thursday Thirteen is brought to you courtesy of the upcoming creepy Halloween "season"

My Top 13 Stephen King Books (in no particluar order)

1. The Dark Half
2. The Shining
3. The Stand
4. The Green Mile
5. Gerald's Game
6. Misery
7. It
8. Lisey's Story
9. Pet Semetary
10. Everything's Eventual
11. Insomnia
12. Carrie
13. Needful Things

Until next time!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Wordless Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Heads or Tails Tuesday!

Once again it is time for Skittles' weekly meme. Today's topic? Stack (or stacks). Prepare yourself for complete randomness today...

Right now I would love a stack of pancakes (preferably my mom's or Perkin's potato ones) and I would not turn down a stack of money (I have a stack of student loans and a stack of utility bills that would benefit from the stack of money).

I often wonder about who thought of the Oreo Cookie stacking contest. I used to stack my cookies all the time before I ate them. If I had known that that stacking talent could have won me something (like that stack of money), I would have continued to randomly stack my cookies.

Every three or four years our area plays host to the Tall Stacks Festival. This is where all the huge paddle/steam boats (that have large smoke stacks) come to the Cincinnati area and you can tour the boats, listen to music and all kinds of stuff. I went there once as a kid, and I was fascinated with how huge the boats were. I think it would be even better now that I am a little older and can appreciate the history.

Speaking of smoke stacks, I can never prepare myself for the scene in Titanic when the smoke stack falls on the Italian guy. Although I know it is going to happen, I always find myself wishing he could swim away...he never does.

My brother knows how to stack a card deck. This is why I HATE playing Euchre with him. He can deal himself a loaner every time if he wanted...and he won't show my how to do it. I have no idea how he pulls it off--especially since I cut the deck all the time and watch him closely. It is so irritating...and yet I am oddly jealous.

As much as I am sure I could ramble on forever, I have to go try to tackle the stack of dishes in the sink and the stack of papers that I have to grade before Thursday.

Until next week!