Sunday, July 31, 2005

the long road home

i've got a few moments to post while staying at my sister's place.....though not long enough to run downstairs and get the notes i took in the car yesterday. (i had plenty of time to write- we got stuck in traffic twice- the toll area along i-95 in new hampshire and the massachusetts turnpike were both horrible. between those...delays and the wild goose chase around lowell, massachusetts (i wanted to get my national park passport stamped at the lowell mill, but several streets were blocked off for the "lowell folk festival".... and after a good twenty minutes of driving in circles, i finally gave up, hopped out of the car, and asked a niced couple having a picnic lunch if they could provide me with directions back to the highway. perhaps the timing will work out a little better next summer.), a twelve hour drive wound up taking about fourteen.)

anyway, where was i?

pictures and notes...right. i have a ton of pictures (enough for one a day at the photo blog plus several here and maybe a few on bodhi's blog.) with any luck, i'll be able to get a few posted after we get home this evening. (that'd be in between dealing with the avon order, returning phone calls from folks who forgot i was on vacation, and trying to unpack my fully-loaded car, of course.)

however, i promise they'll be worth your while.

on today's agenda: visit the local grocery store to stock up on sabatino's salad dressing (it's okay if you have no idea what i'm talking about- it's an italian restaurant in baltimore that is near and dear to my heart), utz potato chips, and crab soup, meet up with potential cousin-in-law in d.c., wander around town with him a little bit (after all, i have a few more cancellations on my passport to collect), and then head home.

isn't that the worst part of vacation- the first day back at work? i am not ready.

however, labor day weekend isn't far off- perhaps we can manage a quick getaway then........

Thursday, July 28, 2005

small potatoes?

okay- i'm on just for a moment at the visitor information center in carleton, prince edward island, where we're trying to figure out the location of two elusive metal potatoes. (long story) far, we've gotten four blank looks, the information guru helping us has been laughed at by at least one of his counterparts on the northern portion of the island, and (breaking news here) now we've been told that there "might be something in the sand dunes" at a location i didn't catch. oh boy.

in other potato news, i now know what poutine is ("where are you from anyway? i've never met anyone who didn't know what it was", said our waitress last night.), and we've purchased several bags of "lobster flavored" potato chips (a delight sure to please the palate.)

oh, and you know my last good pair of jeans? perhaps i should not have worn them today, as there was an unnerving splitting noise as i hopped up onto the statue in front of cows.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

oh, canada

i don't have time to get caught up on comments, but wanted to post a quick "hello" from st. stephen, new brunswick. (gotta love these free internet stations.) i've got a pile of pictures to tinker with when we get back to south carolina (possibly the d.c. area the night before), and a few subjects for posts when i get back.....thrilling things like:

~perhaps maine has lobster rolls at mc donald's after all
~how not to give yourself a hot oil treatment
~how to stop the pain after burning yourself during a hot oil treatment
~border crossings- a whole new sort of pain in the butt

okay- my fifteen minutes is to hopewell rocks (and, eventually, prince edward island) we go.

Monday, July 25, 2005

i love free access!

just a quick "hello" from st. johnsbury, vermont....where they offer free internet access at the welcome center. i have a bunch of notes from the road to share- but a ten-minute limit on this computer (and you know how long-winded i tend to be), so i'll have to save it for later. i've been taking pictures, too, but i doubt i'll be able to put them up until after we're back in south carolina. (bear with me- i'm on vacation, after all.)

however, i can share the tragic discovery i made last night when we stopped for dinner (drive-through, of course) at mcdonald's: there are no lobster rolls at maine mcdonald's this summer i am crushed......and mentally composing hate mail to mickey d's.

okay- time to hit the road...take care of yourselves, gang.

Friday, July 22, 2005

i'm still here?

plan a: leave work after the class trip to our children's museum. be on the road by 2 p.m. and in washington, d.c. by 9 p.m.

yeah, uh....that didn't work out the way i'd planned. i wound up staying at school until a hair after 4:30, rana couple of quick errands, and now i'm at the radio station, taking care of five hours' worth of work i woul have done last night, had i not found myself dozing off in my car coming home from my afterschool job after midnight.

at this rate, we may be in d.c. by noon tomorrow.

but that's okay. after all, it's vacation...whenever it officially begins.

which reminds me:

~i will continue to collect a picture a day for my photo blog, though i might not be able to post them until we get back into town. bear with me- i'll make it up to you. (however, it's easier for me to post updates here, so i'll try to pound out at least a sentence or two whenever the opportunity presents itself. in the meantime, you can check out my favorite posts on the left sidebar......or my favorite blogs, also on the sidebar.)

~bodhi will be joining me on this trip, so feel free to check his blog for updates, too.

~i forgot to pack socks.....and a razor......and i need to locate my contacts so i can haul out my fancy (old fashioned, non-digital) camera.

okay- back to work so maybe i can hit the road sometime in the next twelve hours..........

Thursday, July 21, 2005


i am tired. dead tired. dog tired. pooped.

duran duran - charlotte 7/20/05

duran duran

we didn't get to meet the band- the "meet and greet", we were told, had been cancelled. however, we had great seats...which worked out well, because the digital camera we'd borrowed for the concert (no zoom on ours) had a dead battery. we were in the 13th row, though one of the security guards was kind enough to let me run to the front of the aisle to take pictures during the encore. (this was after walking up to me- right after i'd taken bodhi's picture- and said "what's with the gnome?")

in addition to the permitted cameras (folks who'd forgotten theirs could purchase disposables for a mere $15 each), there were camera phones all over the place. i'm afraid i found it more than a little unsettling when i counted more folks waving cell phones instead of lighters during "ordinary world". what a sign of the times........

but it was totally worth it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

i am what i am...or what you want me to be

okay, back to my mission to get in touch with myself.......i'm sure you've googled yourself, but have you checked out what google really thinks of you? i found this on jurgen nation.

my results? well, if you're really interested, here's an abridged list:

*duff is under pressure to what? under pressure to what???
*duff is the real thing like coke classic?
*duff is the real thin i may have lost a pound or two lately- thanks for noticing.
*duff is online yes i am...unless i'm at work. please leave a message at the beep....
*duff is close to signing a new contract with blackburn how many zeros are we talking about here?
*duff is desirable because the litter is usually much less dense than the duff i know googlism did not just call me dense.
*duff is a supporter of the effort to restore the bird island lighthouse sure- wherever that is.
*duff is group leader of numerical analysis in the computational science and engineering department crap- would i have needed to pass statistics in college for that?
*duff is tackled by liverpool's jamie carragher only because i let him (hope he's cute)
*duff is ready to make trouble always
*duff is happy to have three new members let's see- i pick you...and you...and you
*duff is a musical instrument similar to a tambourine so you have to hit and shake me to play me? i think i'll pass.
*duff is single and he's taken up astrology in hopes of increasing his chances of finding a wife
*duff is anne marie / theresa *checking birth certificate* sorry- not even close.
*duff is one of irelands leading architectural companies so we'll move the blarney stone about 50 feet, then?
*duff is known as a "players coach" sure- what am i coaching?
*duff is overpriced nah- i'm worth every penny
*duff is up to lately? find that out what am i up to? 5'2", if i stretch.
*duff is springfield's leading brand in beer it took this many results to get a simpsons reference? jeez.
*duff is a widely published author i didn't think i was there yet, but if google says so, who am i to disagree?
*duff is a native of the texas gulf coast and spent time as a child attending school and playing with children from the nearby alabama uh, not quite. i was born in colorado.....and have been to alabama a grand total of three times.
*duff is a bed and breakfast with ambiance that invites you to relax and enjoy genuine "down under" hospitality whoa- what kind of hospitality am i providing here?
*duff is more amusing than elmore leonard well, thank you.
*duff is founder and ceo of bold ventures group does this mean i can stop working weekends?
*duff is poised to move from blackburn rovers to either liverpool or manchester and i'm moving the blarney stone....because you said i could.
*duff is not for sale everyone has their price- mine just happens to be out of your budget.
*duff is completely consumed by work
*duff is not there either as you can see maybe you can't- i am short, after all.
*duff is worth more yes- yes, i am.
*duff is a mother and the editorial page editor at the coloradoan no and no
*duff is one of nine defencemen the rangers have signed for the upcoming season is it a high dollar contract? if so, maybe i should take up the sport (whatever sport we happen to be talking about here.
*duff is from sonoran desert of the southwest no, but i've been there.
*duff is burned when the moisture content of the upper duff is below 30 percent note to self: keep moisture content above 30%
*duff is busy in the studio recording with a talented vocalist this is old- the vocalist in question was sinatra
*duff is the inspirational leader of the university of michigan women's gymnastics team this alter ego sounds pretty cool
*duff is the oskar klein professor of physics and director of the michigan center for theoretical physics at the university of michigan in ann arbor i'm teaching psychics? oh- physics? isn't that a complex science? it is? can i get a tutor, perhaps?
*duff is to work on a document on the status of the charter of fundamental rights of the eu you have the right to remain silent. anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.... not those rights? oh. sorry.
*duff is remarkable for the energy and determination with which he has pursued a difficult and thorny path hmmm...i seem to have had a sex change no one bothered to tell me about.
*duff is supported by voluntary contributions from fans all over the world sweet! when can i expect the first checks to roll in?
*duff is another indication of a superior intellect e=mc2
*duff is a chief flight surgeon sure- as long as i don't have to see any blood
*duff is a seasoned professional with ten years experience a professional pain in the butt? i'm your huckleberry.
*duff is close to signing a new contract with the ewood park club another high-dollar deal, i hope.
*duff is a former standout at glen este high school and a sophomore golfer at kent state university only if those little windmills are involved
*duff is taking a different boat around new zealand than ireland anyone care to join me?
*duff is pumice not quite, but that reminds me- i could use a pedicure.
*duff is quick with a laugh aha! they finally found me!
*duff is our fave actress thanks *blushing*
*duff is a managing partner in the law firm of baker donelson in washington "managing partner"? that must mean i'm rich.

my favorite part? the "duff is overpriced"/"duff is worth more" contradiction.

Monday, July 18, 2005

a few monday morning diversions

my birthday got pretty much rained out, so i had ample time to find things to amuse myself with in an effort to further put off the real work i could have been attending to.

the movie poster quiz

i got 15 out of 15- how about you?

oh- i found this a little late, but here's what they had to say about my birthday over at blogthings:

Your Birthdate: July 17

Your birth on the 17th day of the month suggests that you are very lucky financially, because this date indicates a solid business sense.

Although you are probably very honest and ethical, this birthday enables you to be shrewd and successful in the world of business and commercial enterprise.

You have excellent organizational, managerial, and administrative capabilities enabling you to handle large projects and significant amounts of money with relative ease.

You are ambitious and highly goal-oriented, although you may be better at starting projects than you are at finishing them.

A sensitivity in your nature, often repressed below the surface of awareness, makes it hard to give or receive affection.

and another contribution from blogthings:

In 1978 (the year you were born)

Jimmy Carter is president of the US

US Senate votes to turn over the Panama Canal to Panama on December 31, 1999

Israel and Egypt reach a peace settlement at the Camp David Accords

The US and mainland China announce that they will restore full diplomatic relations

Members of Jim Jones' People's Temple commit mass suicide in Guyana

Pope John Paul II becomes the first non-Italian pope in centuries

Ted Bundy is captured in Florida

The first computer bulletin board system is created

Garfield debuts in newspapers

Ashton Kutcher, Kobe Bryant, Usher, Clay Aiken, and Nelly Furtado are born

New York Yankees win the World Series

Dallas Cowboys win Superbowl XII

Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup

Saturday Night Fever and Grease are the top grossing films

"Night Fever" by the Bee Gees spends the most time at the top of the US charts

Diff'rent Strokes and Mork & Mindy premiere

What Happened the Year You Were Born?

More cool things for your blog at

just when i wondered if i'd ever amount to anything, this came along:

finally, something for larry:

Which monkey are you?
Another pointless diversion from Bijouriel

Sunday, July 17, 2005

funny...i don't feel old.

naked duff
well, it's happened. i'm officially 27 (by almost exactly three hours).

how am i celebrating? well, i'm at work.......all day. however, working at the radio station means i can play last year's birthday serenade from my sister again....which i just did. you can listen to it here: sister_bday
i'm also spending the day demanding that would-be requests be prefaced by "happy birthday, duff". (yes- that noise you just heard was yours truly cracking her whip.)

while we're at it, if you're really lucky, i'll put up my biggest fan's birthday wishes from last year. (when he called today, not only did he forget to wish me a happy birthday, but he also called to tell me that if i hear from a particular listener, i am to tell her that he saw her on t.v. when she was 8 or 10, and thought she looked very pretty.)

anyway, back to me.

in honor of my birthday, i'm starting a new blog. it's going to take me a little while to perfect it, but if you'd like, you can sneak a peek at it here.

i don't know about you, but my birthday tends to depress me a little. if i sit still too long, i start pondering my own mortality and dwelling on my (lack of) accomplishments.

so, instead, this year i'll try to focus for a moment (or two or three) on what i've accomplished thus far. (i'm allowed to toot my own horn on my birthday, right? right?)

1. i was born on 17 july 1978 at 5:28 a.m. (or was it 5:22? i can't remember...feel free to correct me mama- after all, you were there.) since so many things could've gone wrong between conception and my debut, i consider being born my first accomplishment.

2. a tornado tore through our neighborhood (in a denver suburb) when i was three. obviously, i survived. (i thought it was a train and kept heading toward the window for a better look.)

3. despite my underachiever tendencies, i scored high enough on the ACT to earn a scholarship.

4. i was voted "class clown" my senior year of high school.

5. i've been to mardi gras.....sober.

6. i made it through college in four years...with three BAs.

7. shortly after college, i moved halfway across the country- by myself. i pulled into columbia, sc, five years ago today with a carload of my worldly possessions and directions to keith and rhonda's house. (on a side note, when i called each of my parents to let them know i'd arrived, both of them forgot that it was my birthday. i was crushed.)

8. i've had a paying job in radio since i was 21. (an NPR affiliate in college, followed by classic rock and modern rock stations upon my arrival in south carolina, and i've been on the air at wnok for over 3 1/2 years.) i was on full time briefly at one point.....i'd like to get back to that sometime in the next two years.

9. i've hiked to the bottom of the grand canyon.....and made it back out again under my own power.

10. i've kayaked on the colorado river.

11. i've been to every state except washington, oregon, idaho, montana, utah, texas (i don't count airports), alaska, and hawaii. i've also been to spain twice (madrid on one trip, barcelona on the other), france (mostly paris), mexico (twice...once in a stroller, and the second time this past april), and canada (manitoba, quebec, new brunswick, nova scotia, prince edward island).

12. as of this coming wednesday night, i will have seen three out of my four favorite bands in concert...twice each. (inxs in april 1994 and september 1997, depeche mode during the devotional and exciter tours, duran duran in november 2003 and on wednesday night, and u2 during their popmart tour.) i suppose i've got a couple of entries for my life resume. over the next year, i'd like to add the following:

1. visit three new places. (i've got two planned- just need to work on a third.)

2. eat 100 tacos (no problem there)

3. find an intact conch shell at the beach. (this seems to be the holy grail of shells for me....i can find broken ones, but an intact shell seems to be just out of my reach for some reason.)

4. get in a position (financially) where i can afford to work less and play more. (actually, i may need a couple of years for that one.....)

5. take a picture every day...and remember to post them on my new blog.

oh- and don't think that just because i'm 27 now i'm going to start acting like a grown up. maybe i'll consider it by forty...though i doubt it.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

a few new faces

in the interest of broadening one's horizons once again, it's time again for a cruise around the blogosphere.

first, as you may have read, i passed the 10,000 pageload mark on the fourth of july. as promised, here's a link to the blog of number 10,000.

while exploring that blog, i stumbled upon this one.

also, while clicking around other folks' blogs, i found this, this, and this- all interesting and worthwhile diversions.

also, while i'm providing links, here's one of my regular readers. and here's another.

which reminds me- one of these days, i need to tinker with my sidebars again. perhaps after the rollout of my supersecret project.

finally, here are a few blogs found by clicking that convenient "next blog button" (and skipping the sales blogs, offers to see various actresses naked, and anime click-throughs):

songs about coffee
jane loves tarzan

any other suggestions?

24 hours left....

man, what a week.

first, let me apologize for not checking in very often this week. it was a busy one, to say the least- i think i made it home before 11 p.m. a grand total of once.....and by the time i stumbled through the front door, getting to the bed before passing out was a higher priority than hopping on the internet.

maybe i'll make up for it this weekend- after all, i can think of a lot of stuff i want to write about.

anyway, back to my week:

monday: first day of my current, slightly hectic schedule. headed to work half an hour early (after waking up half an hour earlier than usual- ugh. i am not a morning person), then left an hour early so i could drive to the station to pick up tk's 15 month old. after he arrived home a couple of hours later, drove over to my evening gig and worked until 11:30. (this repeats on tuesday and thursday.)

tuesday: mama's birthday. if i don't do the math, i still think she's 45. (then again, if i don't do the math, i think i'm only 23. it's hard to believe my little sister's older than that.)

speaking of birthdays, i found out that i'm getting the tickets to the duran duran concert i asked for.....and apparently i'll be meeting the band, as well. naturally, i'm petrified. i placed a midnight call to my sibling to appeal for bodhi's speedy return to SC for a possible photo op with *swoons* john taylor.

you know that scene in wayne's world where wayne and garth meet alice cooper? i can only hope to be that composed. no matter how many intelligent, witty things i think of to say to these guys, i know it will all fly right out of my head as soon as they're standing (or sitting- whichever) in front of me. eek.

(yes, i'll have the digital camera with me so i can document the whole thing- perhaps we can make a video of yours truly standing there, mouth nervous i'm actually vibrating.)

wednesday: since my driver's license expires on my birthday (this sunday- i'm guessing the dmv is not going to be open), i explored the nifty online renewal system available to south carolina drivers. a couple of mouse clicks (and the low low price of $12.50) later, i've got a brand new license, complete with my correct address.

took the night off from my post-after work babysitting gig so i could finally take care of the avon order that was spread out all over my living room. somehow, i still didn't make it to bed until after midnight.

thursday: woke up to the horrifying news that one of my coworkers at the radio station had been shot in the station parking lot that morning. needless to say, i was more than a little nervous about coming to work this morning. the police presence in the parking lot calmed me down immensely as i pulled into the lot. as far as i know, the fools who did this are still on the loose.

friday: since we'll be on our way to maine less than a week from today, i figured it was a good time to drag my car over to my fantastic mechanic in elgin, sc. at the advanced age of not-quite-four years old, my chariot has racked up nearly 64,000 miles. (don't cringe- that's nothing- i'm still breaking it in.) anyway, with the big trip coming up, i figured there was no time like the present to take care of a much-needed oil change and get the timing belt replaced a little early. (better to take care of it now than have something go SPROING! while we're on the road.)

note to self: next time, apply bug repellant before visiting the mechanic. i think maybe four square inches of my skin remains unscathed. *scratching furiously*

my assistant and the little people in my classroom sent me out to write the weekly letter after naptime was over. when i returned, i was treated to grapes, blueberries, strawberries, and cheesy poofs while being serenaded by the little people singing "happy birthday". my assistant (with help from the little ones, of course) made a "card" with each kid's photo on a background created by the little ones themselves. very cool.

as for my weekend plans- i'm working. (i know- big surprise.) someone told me yesterday i need to take a day off. i will- 8 1/2 of them, in fact- starting next weekend. until then, however, my nose is firmly attached to the grindstone.(except for my brief encounter with one of my favorite freaking bands....maybe i should pack a depends, just in case.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

mindless amusement

first, let me start off this post by wishing mama a happy birthday. so, uhm, happy birthday, mama. this link is for you. (i mean, i got you actual gifts, too, but if i scan in pictures of them it'd spoil the surprise, don't you think?)

okay- onto other matters.

in an attempt to get in touch with myself, i have learned that apparently i've crossed party lines. eek. (in the code for the button below, it says, "There is nothing more ignorant than the religious right.")

There's nothing more intellectually challenged than the religious right.
How Dumb Are You?
A Rum and Monkey stupidity.

not only am i ignorant, but it seems i'm an impure kisser as well:

Your Kissing Purity Score: 17% Pure

For you, it's all kiss and no talk.

You're in a permanent lip lock.

i'm afraid that one wasn't a huge surprise....and neither was this:

I am Girl Next Door

Click on the picture below to read more:

Girl Next Door>

thank goodness SO is a "girl next door" kind of guy.

which reminds me- does anyone else remember the guys next door? no? just me? damn. guess that's not going to be a topic for conversation anytime soon. *sigh*

finally, while we seem to be stating the obvious here (uh-oh...the royal "we" has come out to play):

*looks at the current world's population* You must have a lot of frustration then.

What pisses you off?

Created by ptocheia

okay- that's enough fun and frivolity for one day.

Sunday, July 10, 2005 shouldn't, really

one of my sunday rituals is to work my way through the sunday edition of the state newspaper during my wnok shift. sometimes, i manage to finish before i switch stations at 3....and sometimes i'm still clipping coupons and pondering the disappearance of opus during my last shift of the day, which ends around midnight. anyway, before i can settle down with today's paper, i need to share a couple of newsworthy items from yesterday's edition.

first, a selection from elsewhere in the south:

Parents hire stripper for son's 16th

man, i didn't even get a party for my 16th birthday, let alone a male stripper. now, i feel even more deprived than before. the thing that gets me is the last line:

"We even had grandpa there," she said.

maybe they'd have been better off claiming the stripper was for grandpa and that the kids just "happened" to wander in.

as is, i'm sure that sixteen year old's "awesome" parents were the talk of the school on monday morning.

"hey, man- did you hear what jimmy's parents got him for his birthday? i'm totally going to his party next year!"

and now, something a little more local:

(this is from the "police blotter" section of yesterday's paper. a link is not yet available on the state's website, but i'll try to remember to check again in a day or two and link to it, if possible. in the meantime....)


Sunset Boulevard, 5600 block: A woman called police at 2:50 p.m. Wednesday after a potential customer in a tanning salon exposed himself to her. The woman told officers that the man had come into the salon asking to see the standing tanning booth. She showed it to him and gave him the price list to look at. He went to the end of the counter in full view of the employee and exposed himself, making comments about getting burned there during the tanning session.


Saturday, July 09, 2005

twenty things.......

it's been far too long since i was last on bricotrout's blog. so, after checking in with the blogs on my sidebar (after all, i've been out of action for nearly a week- a lot can happen in that amount of time!), i cruised on over to satori designs for a long-overdue visit......

........and there it was- inspiration!

ten things i'm a sucker for

1. blue-eyed boys with a good sense of humor
2. dvd sets of tv shows from my youth (defined as anytime from my birth to the present)
3. tacos
4. "buy one, get one free" *of equal or lesser value
5. "add a side salad or a taco to your entree for $1"
6. rubber duckies
7. "i'll pay you......"
8. absolut vodka ads
9. travel- especially if there's a potential for outdoor adventure
10. 80s pop culture references (refer to this and you'll see what i mean)

ten things i would do well to change about myself

1. my temper. i will resist the urge to throw things when frustrated. scratch that. i will take up some sort of hobby where throwing things could be constructive.
2. learn to say "no" more often- even if a money earning opportunity is at hand- because sometimes sleep and personal time are more important than fattening up my bank account
3. eat fewer tacos
4. since #3 is highly unlikely, i could stand to get a little more exercise
5. spend less, save more (i do pretty well, but could stand to improve)
6. procrastinate less
7. unclutter more (or is it "declutter"? either way, i need to go through my worldly possessions and figure out what to keep and what to donate/recycle/toss)
8. decrease the number of times i hit "snooze" in the morning
9. get caught up on my journal- it's been months, and i've forgotten the details of most of the personal reflections/events i was going to scribble about.
10. resist the urge to hop out of my car and give slow drivers a push. in fact, instead of getting frustrated with them, and suggesting they wind the rubber band/feed the hamster, i will keep my mouth busy by singing along with the first song i hear on the radio (unless i don't like it, in which case i will pop in kick and sing along to it, instead.)

how about you?

setting the footwear free

after a busy week, i'm taking the easy way out. screw the pedicure- i'll just paint over the top of my old nail polish with something glittery.....which will certainly disguise the fact that i'm trying to camouflage about five different shades of nail polish, all in various stages of chipping.

my newly painted toes would go nicely with the abandoned sandals i keep seeing on my way to work in the morning. no- i don't pass any stores on the way to school.......this particular pair of shoes has been lounging in the middle of the road, like fearless, aggressive hitchhikers, for at least the past month. i assume if no one has claimed them by now, they're not going to.

many mornings, as i've waited at the busy intersection to turn onto the school's street, i have sat and pondered at length the origins of these giant sandals. (there's no left-turn signal, so i usually wind up sitting until the light turns yellow and then scooting across before the other drivers' light switches over to green. i hate doing it that way, but if i wait for an opening during a green light, i'd be about fifteen minutes later to work than i already am.) are they there by accident? did they fly out the window, seeking adventure? or were they flung out of the window after their owner found something new and improved at the shoe store down the road? did they fall off the foot of a passenger classy enough to prop their feet up on the car windowsill during a road trip? were they hurled at a passenger after commenting that the driver's butt looked big in that dress?

anyway, i've had ample time to wonder about these shoes. they appear to be fairly large black shoes- the sort of sandals that feature a wide band across the top of the foot to hold the sole (and footbed and midsole, for you technically-minded shoe geeks) onto the foot. i must say, after sitting in the middle of the road for the past month, the shoes are still in pretty good shape. (i mean, it's not like they can be dusted off and resold or anything like that, but they look like they have some life left in them.)

how often do you see a pair of shoes on the road? usually, it's just one shoe abandoned at the side of the road....but two? (perhaps i'll tackle the mystery of the single abandoned shoe in another post...unless someone else beats me to it.) you almost never see two matching shoes at the side of the road. (or at least i never do- though maybe i'm just not looking closely enough.)

did anyone else see the movie identity? didn't amanda peet throw a pair of shoes out of her convertible at the beginning of the film? i've been wondering about this lately- though not enough to go out and buy the dvd.

perhaps she's the culprit. yes- that's it. amanda peet has taken time off from her acting career to drive around the country, throwing pairs of used women's shoes out of her car at 60 mph while laughing. giddily.

isn't that a mental picture?

Monday, July 04, 2005

oh say can you see.......

first and foremost, happy fourth of july! (13 days left until my birthday......and perhaps the launch of something new.)

(i found these nifty fireworks here.)

while we're on the subject of "borrowed" things, i stole this from kal.

Click here to take the M*A*S*H quiz!
somehow, i was not surprised by this result at all.

by the way, if you scroll down and notice that you're my 10,000th visitor, could you please do me a favor and leave me a comment? i'll give you...something. (how about bragging rights and a link in my next post?)

Sunday, July 03, 2005

wild kingdom

guess who was on the other end of the line during my first phone call this morning?

i guess he was bothered that i hung up on him yesterday. hope he didn't spend all night agonizing over it- i sure didn't.

actually, my night was spent dreaming of snakes- lots of them. i can trace this back to yesterday's visit to the zoo after work. riverbanks zoo is less than a mile from the radio station, and since i'm a member of the zoo, i can visit anytime i want. (yesterday made twice in two days, which i can't say i've managed before.)

in january 2002, our zoo acquired a pair of male koalas from a japanese zoo. unfortunately, kei was put down (he was quite ill with some sort of intestinal malady) a couple of years ago. (if you follow the link, the one on the left, mirai, still resides at the zoo.) however, before kei's passing, plans to bring female koalas to the zoo had already been made. two females, lottie and killarney, arrived at the zoo in september 2003, so mirai didn't go long without playmates.

and play he did- lottie became pregnant, and gave birth late last year to a baby named karoo. karoo was riding on lottie's back when we last went to the zoo in april- i was lucky enough to get a few pictures (which of course, i cannot locate right now- but i swear they exist) during our visit. unfortunately, karoo was found at the bottom of the koala enclosure in late may.

on a positive note, however, our other female, killarney, is thought to be pregnant.

why bore you with all this? well, when i go to the zoo, the koala exhibit is always the first place i head to, and yesterday was no exception.

aside from the koalas (pictured above), this was one of the sights i beheld:

(i know, i know- it's a little hard to make out, but i was trying to discreetly capture the two-tone mullet, which was a vibrant fuschia on top, and black on bottom. even my haircolors haven't been that adventurous. you're lucky i didn't get a shot from the front....this woman had those pawprint tattoos like eve, but believe me- she was no eve.)

outside of the "koala knockabout" exhibit, there is a palmetto tree. several years ago, local artists painted these large metal palmettos (south carolina's main symbol) and then they were auctioned off for charity. apparently, as a symbol of our sister-state relationship with queensland (which is how our acquisition of koalas was arranged), we sent a palmetto decorated with symbols of south carolina over to queensland, and also shipped over a blank palmetto, which was decorated by an aboriginal artists and returned to now stands outside the exhibit. (the exhibit has been open for three years, and i never knew this interesting little tidbit.)

anyway, here are some other shots from my trip to the zoo........

i thought he was stuck....and that the grunting was how he expressed his pain. then i realized that wasn't a rock under him.

who is on exhibit here? after about fifteen minutes of observation, i really had to wonder.

when a couple of the gorillas were lying down on the ground with their butts pressed up on the glass, the little girl in blue kept smacking the glass- mama encouraged her to "spank" the gorillas. i'm afraid i was more than a little appalled at how many folks were ignorant enough to beat on the glass of various exhibits..... this guy. he was also at the gorilla exhibit during my visit. he did the glass smackers one better- kicking the glass behind one of the gorillas (he was tired of staring at people, i guess, and had turned around) with his cowboy boot. had he not been twice my size, i would have said something. instead, i followed him to the bird house, where he tried to get the attention of both the hornbills and the penguins by emitting an odd high-pitched whistle. (needless to say, the birds were not impressed.)

i should go to the zoo more often- if only to people watch. not tomorrow, though. my shift is early enough that i might be able to kayak after all.....assuming the weather behaves itself.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

i'm ba-ack!

see? i didn't fall of the face of the earth....i've just been standing on the edge.

before we get to my excuses for not posting, let me remind you that live 8 is taking place today. here are a couple of things for you to peruse while you wait for coverage to start on mtv and vh1 (noon-8 p.m. est).

so- where have i been all week? working- a lot....and sleeping...not so much.

monday: went to work at the preschool, spent 4 hours after school housecleaning (not my own, mind you- i don't get paid for that.) crawled into bed around midnight. (this was after finally falling into bed around 2:30 a.m. monday morning.)

tuesday: went to work at preschool, spent lunch break redesigning a bumper,

floated rubber duckies in a giant puddle of rainwater at school

rubber duckierubber duckiespuddle(let's hear it for clogged drains!), spent five hours cleaning/filing after school, sorted and bagged avon orders, and collapsed on the bed around 1:30 a.m.

wednesday: preschool, dinner at keith and rhonda's, posted my previous entry (which i actually wrote last weekend), called mama (who had left three messages in four days- each sounding increasingly worried about my well-being) finished bagging avon orders, and made it to bed early- about 11:30.

thursday: played in a downpour at preschool, six hours of babysitting/filing after work....too tired to do anything else. got home at 12:30. asleep by 12:32.

yesterday: preschool field trip to riverbanks zoo,


followed by a short, but necessary lunch break (had to get to the bank so my bills would be paid), lounged in the pool with the two year olds (my daily summer ritual), then made a couple of avon deliveries after of which was at the mall- right next to old navy, where i picked up a new bathing suit for lounging in the kiddie well as a couple of other suits.....despite being absolutely horrified by the way my thighs look in the dressing room lighting. (where are my rollerblades?) after resolving to get to bed early, wound up cooking for two hours and finally fell into bed around 11:00.

so, basically, i'm worn out, but i have a little extra money in my bank account. (well, i did, but old navy wound up with a small chunk of it, and my credit card wound up with a decent payment.)

i'm off from preschool monday, and right after i found out there are kayaking opportunities in the area, i opened an email notifying me that i'm working monday. so much for that master plan.

it's enough to make a girl look forward to vacation. originally, i was going to go out of town this week and visit mama in maine. however, due to some scheduling conflicts, my vacation was shifted to the end of the month. so, if you're on I-95 on the 22nd or 23rd of this month and you see a green ford zx2 in your rear view mirror (with a red devil duckie air freshener dangling from my rear view mirror), move. thanks.

of course, i've already looked into adventure options for our little trip. here's my rough itinerary:

friday, july 22nd: after the school field trip, attempt to head out of town and get to d.c. before midnight.

saturday, july 23rd: wander around either baltimore or d.c.- possibly both. (or, if i couldn't manage an early departure from school on friday, drive up to d.c. today. arrive with plenty of time to gorge myself on blue crabs.)

sunday, july 24th: drive up I-95 to maine......a route i have not taken before. arrive in time for at least one lobster roll extra value meal at mc donald's. (is it the number 5? number 6? i can't remember- a sign it's been too long since my last one.)

monday, july 25th: break in mama's new wheels with a road trip to vermont. (this just in- mama has been playing with her atlas again, and now we may even make it to sherbrooke, quebec....which means i'm going to be exercising my weak french abilities. uh......pardonnez-moi- je parle un peu de francais. parlez-vous anglais, s'il vous plait?)

tuesday, july 26th: three options here.

option one: drag SO to moosehead lake for hiking on mt. kineo......wait a minute- do they have kayaks there? i bet they do.

option two: leave SO with mama's tangled pile of wires.....tell him if he can connect vcr, dvd player, and tv set together without blowing anything up, he may spend the day in front of various sports channels while mama and i drive to ellsworth, maine, where i will undoubtedly add to the local economy......or sit in traffic while creating new combinations of various swear words whilst referring to the road construction efforts in ellsworth. (i guess we'll work on our french.)

option three: sleep. a lot.

either way, i'd like another lobster roll extra value meal for dinner......maybe two.

wednesday, july 27th: leave before dawn for a three day road trip to prince edward island. stop at hopewell rocks (here it is in french, if you're feeling adventurous) on the way. (i'm trying to figure out how to convince mama we should stick around and kayak around the rocks for a little while. so far, it's sounding iffy, but at least she hasn't given me a flat-out "hell, no".) we'll spend the night in new brunswick. we may possibly drive over to nova scotia, assuming we arrive early enough to stop at the visitor's center before it closes. (perhaps the bagpipers will be out and about.)

thursday, july 28th: explore prince edward island. we're planning visits to east point light house, point prim lighthouse (my first canadian hike!), crapaud (mama's point of interest....don't ask), and one of my college professors found a couple of metal potato sculptures during a biking trip across p.e.i......though i can't remember where he said they were. (last time, we wound up at the potato museum.....which, i have been informed, we "simply won't have time to revisit" during this trip.) however, we will have time to stop at cows before crossing confederation bridge into new brunswick.

friday, july 29th: drive back to maine......we'll probably spend two hours trying to get through homeland security. have another lobster roll extra value meal for dinner.

saturday, july 30th: drive back to d.c. area, using the trusty inland route. stop at roy rogers on massachusetts turnpike for early lunch. arrive in time for more crabs.

sunday, july 31st: drive back to south carolina. arrive in time to work 6pm shift at the radio station.

any other suggestions? other points of interest in new brunswick or p.e.i. that you can recommend?

new words of wisdom from my #1 fan.....


in the meantime, i suppose i should chase down a tv and see if we get mtv here at the station.......

rock on.
(i've been saying that a lot lately- perhaps i should add that to my previous post.)