Jump around

Do you guyes remember Hippity Hop balls? Those big balls with handles on them that were pretty popular in the 70s and 80s where a kid would sit on it, hold on to the handles, and then hop up and down?

Well, some coworkers and myself decided to order some adult-sized hippity hop ballsfor the office.

Though I must admit they are a little more fun in theory than in practice.

After working a sore arm from pumping up my ball for about 30 minutes, I was ready for the fun to start.

Maybe a little TOO ready.

Upon my first "hop" back to my cubicle, I promptly fell backwards onto my ass.

Not to be defeated, however, I got back 'on the ball' (bad pun intended --sorry) and attempted to hop the 20 feet back to my desk. I didn't quite make it and succeeded in disrupting the whole floor on my way ("hopping," apparently, is quite loud and the idea of 13 of us hopping through the hallways makes me think of what a herd of elephants might sound like).

We went to one meeting all on our balls...and then the ($20) novelty sort of wore off. Sigh. So my ball sits under my desk, only to be used on the occassions where I feel especially lathargic.

Maybe I'll get another one for David and head to the park with them when the sun comes out...


Don't trust the Mounties, EH

Really, they may seem all harmless and friendly and Canadian...but they're not to be trusted.

I'm speaking from experience.

They stole my ID.

And this is after they held me at the border for at least 30 minutes, searching my rental car. I guess they thought I might be sketchy since I attempted to cross the border in a rental car with a temporary tag from Oklahoma, an Arizona driver's license, no birth certificate, and claiming I drove up from Oregon. I guess I can see where they might be on alert there, but really, my story was so elaborate that if I were lying it would be painfully obvious. If I was going to lie, I would have made it as simple as possible to AVOID such suspicion. At any rate, they made sit in a waiting room while they searched my car and my bags. And then the guy came in with what looked like my rental car paperwork. I was relieved for a second, thinking they would finally let me go...until the Mounty spoke.

Mounty: "I found the rental agreement but it doesn't have your name on it.."

Me:"What? Look at the bottom. My signature should be on there."

Mounty: "Well it would be if your name was James Pickens!"

Me: "That must be the paperwork for the previous renter, then."

Mounty: (guffaws) "Well I'm just going to have to give Thrify Rental Car in Portland, OR a call..."

So I tried to explain to him what time I picked up the car and where I thought I had left the paperwork. He wasn't buying my story, but went back out to the car anyway. He came back 10 minutes later with my paperwork, essentially my ticket to roam freely in the Great White North.

By this time I was in tears. Not because I was afraid of the Canadians, or feeling little and vulnerable. But because I was EXHAUSTED. I had been travelling for over 12 hours and just wanted to rest. The last thing I needed was a Canadian border patrol agent getting saucy with me. Seriously, what kind of an idiot would I be if I tried to steal a rental car and drive it across the border.

I've got a whole other story about how I thought I was going to get shot for cutting soomeone off in traffic... until I remembered that they practice gun control in Canada.


in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark

It was just one of those things…those things that you KNOW you need to do that sort of hit you all of a sudden.

Which is how I realized that if I want to move to Portland, I can’t sit around and waste any more time. I’m going to say that it was Monday of last week when it hit me: I’ve got to start saving money. So its really a simple solution that for whatever reason I have failed to recognize until just recently. Or maybe its kind of like what happens when I decide I need a hair cut; there is no dancing around the issue. I wake up one morning and just KNOW…end of story.

And now that I think about it, a lot of the “bigger” decisions in my life have come about that way (moving to France, going to grad school, getting married…)

So now the real issue: being patient. So much of me just wants to pack up our stuff and go right now, no looking back. Can we do it in 6 months? Ready, set….go!


Christmas crafts for the office!

So we're having a contest at work to see who can decorate their office in the most "creative" fashion. with such liberties afforded me, I took it upon myself to finally have justification for creating a masterpeice otherwise known as "tampon lights."

And as you might expect, one of the "ladies" in my office was offended. I was told to be "creative" and I did just that. When you think about it, tampons make a great craft matetrial. They're well constructed, designed for durability and provide a really versatile shape. Why more people don't jump on this bandwagon is beyond me!

You can find more great ideas for tampon craft projects at this website.

(you'll have to excuse the poor picture quality as my THIRD digital camera is, once again, out of comission. I used my cell phone.)


The female Russian Tortoise can retain sperm for up to 3 years

So I’m starting a new job on Monday.

And as much as I tried to fight it, it’s true what they say about the last couple weeks after you’ve put in your notice: I’ve totally checked out. So I sit at my desk all day, looking for entertainment on the internet, feeling ZERO guilt that I’m getting paid to do, well, nothing. My boss has refrained from giving me anymore projects, and rightly so, but I am bored out of my mind.

So I have mostly been spending my days reading about Russian Tortoises and chatting them up with other RT owners all over the world on this forum. I still have little insight as to why my torts haven’t mated yet – but at least now I know it’s possible for the female to retain sperm with her for up to 3 years before laying any eggs! I've learned that I need to improve their diet so I spent $12 ordering seeds online so I can grow them some tasty dandelions. (I could write a whole other post about my, ahem, “experiences” attempting to keep any plant alive, but that's for another day.)

I’ve also taken more internet surveys and lame questionnaires telling me everything from my IQ (which isn’t as high as it was when I was 6 and placed in gifted classes, to my horror) to which career I should be pursuing (detective) to what astrological sign I “should” be (cancer – good call). It’s amazing how much you can learn about yourself from these extremely reputable sources on psychology and human behavior. I never would have thought to be a DETECTIVE of all things! But now, thanks to the internet, I should probably start thinking about a major career move. And hey…maybe all those re-runs of Law & Order I’ve been voraciously watching over the years have had some integral effect on me.


On Sophia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette"

The French didn't like it. And I can see why, I suppose, after studying French culture, language and literature for 4 years - plus the 6 months I spent living there. It failed to acknowledge the down-trodden masses of people "without cake" while the Royal family and their constituants lived in lavish ignorance.

But I thought the film was beautiful: From the costumes, to the scenery to the music to the emotion. After watching the film I couldn't sleep that night. I was tossing and turning with visions of pre-revolutinoary France dancing in my head, of beautiful dresses and shoes and orante golden furniture. Of a young, ignorant Austrian woman forced into Royalty and power when she was just 15.

I like Coppola's modern take on the film as well; the character speak like young people speak today, wiht a certain lack of elegance and comfortable slang. The soundtrack included songs by the Strokes and Bow Wow Wow, yet somehow seemed to fit beautifully where they were placed, despite the 300+ years of cultural progression.

I'm all for "Vive la France"...

but she never said "Let them eat cake."


How much is that cat in the window?

The Lovatos make a night time appearance

The first *chilly night of the season. (*The adjective "chilly" being relative, of course)


Meet Dallas: karaoke star, Dog the Bounty Hunter look-a-like and social gem. I have no idea if, in fact, he is FROM Dallas...but I'm willing to bet that all his exes live in Texas.

This dirty old man kept flipping off the entire room as part of his dance moves to an amatur rendition of "That's amore"