Happy birthday to Shaun, Happy Birthday to Shaun. Happy Birthday dear Shaaauuuuunnnnnn, Happy Birthday to you! And mannnnyyyyy Moooorrre!

There are pictures of our snow behind the cut

photos )
Storm Team Four really missed the call on this one, folks. The 2:00 PM update reported that the official snowfall total so far at that time was 16 inches. That is a new central Ohio record for total snowfall in a 24 hour period. They were predicting at least another 4 inches before it finally tapers off this evening. That's over a foot and a half of snow, people! I know for some of you that's piddling compared to what you've seen in your own towns, but for me, that's insane! Our little corner of the world isn't prepared to deal with that volume of snow!

We are literally snowed in. It's still coming down and all the work the boys did clearing the drive this morning is obliterated. The wind has been blowing like crazy all day and sculpted bizarre patterns in the snow. We have huge drifts around our trees and shrubs. The pond is no where to be seen.

Jeff is going stir crazy. He bundled all up a little while ago and made a foray on foot to see what's going on beyond our little street. The main roads outside the neighborhood are plowed down to a nice slick hard surface. The main north-south and east-west thoroughfares through the neighborhood are also plowed. But the little connector street we live on is still buried under a couple of feet of thick powdered drifted snow. I think even a big SUV with snow tires and four wheel drive might have trouble navigating it - and all we have are a minivan and a low to the ground mid-sized four-dour sedan. We ain't goin' nowhere, honeypie.

I may have to kill my spouse before the road is passable again. He keeps loudly lamenting his inability to go out and pick up dinner somewhere. Traditionally, we eat take out or go out to dinner every Saturday evening. I honestly don't remember the last time we cooked a meal at home on a Saturday night. It's not like we don't have plenty of food in the house. It's just not the food he wants. We don't have ingredients for a specific prepared meal. But we have tons of frozen dinners and soups and stews and veggies and fruit and crackers and chips and sweets and milk and water and soft drinks. So it's very silly of him to be freaking out like this.

Now he's on the phone with his dad who is apparently experiencing similar cabin fever. I think it's a control issue. Fortunately, we're within walking distance of an urgent care facility, should we have an emergency, and like I said, most of the neighborhood is plowed if an EMT vehicle had to get to us. I'm not remotely stressed, except by the whining and moaning from Jeff.

The laundry is about half done. I have 2/3 of the bathroom cleaning done. I'll finish up shortly, do a nice workout, and scrounge up something interesting for dinner. I think I'll raid the bomb shelter shelves and make some comfort food like chicken and noodle casserole with peas. Yum!
Hello, Friends. It's been a while, I know. I'm a lazy journal keeper and most days I just don't have enough energy left over by the end of the day to type a whole bunch of randomness. I spend my day at work typing all sorts of things, so in the evening I'd rather sit and mouse a quick game of netwalk and/or spider, scroll through a little reading material and veg out on the couch for an hour with my knitting and a good episode of Monk. That's after I do my treadmill and take a shower and eat dinner, of course. See how interesting my life is?

Today there is a noteworthy event occurring, though, so I thought I'd take a few moments to record it. I'm living in a snow glow this morning. Ohio is having the Blizzard of '08. Storm Team Four keeps explaining that it's nothing to compare with the Blizzard of '78, which went on for days, but it's still pretty damned blizzardy.

We started getting impending doom warnings early in the week. We ignored them for the most part, because around here, news of a coming snow apocalypse is fairly common all winter long and it never lives up to the hype. Storm Team Four often proclaims we will get 4-6 inches of snow and we end up getting maybe two. Early this week they were saying things like 3-5 with some freezing rain. I wasn't worried.

My 8th grader, Rob, has been rehearsing for his part in the middle school spring play since some time in December. The play is Oklahoma and he plays Judd, the bad emo farm hand guy. He's been having a grand time learning the songs and dances and all his pithy lines. On Tuesday and Wednesday they had dress rehearsals. On Thursday they did a couple of day time performances for the student body that went over smashingly, by Rob's account. The evening shows were planned for last night and tonight. By Thursday midday I was starting to get a little concerned that one of the nights would be canceled due to weather. By this time yesterday, I was getting concerned that both nights would be canceled.

First thing yesterday morning the forecasters were still trying to play it cool. They didn't want to look like Chicken Little again for the umpteenth time this winter. They assured us that the storm would start creeping in around noon as rain at first, then freezing rain, then flurries in the evening. The real snow would be at night and maybe four to six inches accumulation. I was a little worried, but I figured we could get through the Friday night performance and they might cancel Saturday.

At around 9:30 AM yesterday, I looked out the window and saw relatively heavy snow falling. I was surprised and a little more worried. At 11:40 I put on my coat and walked out the back door to go out for lunch. I had to spend ten minutes brushing snow off my mini-van and myself before I could pull out of the parking lot. In my mile and a half trek to the nearest Wendy's, I skidded and fishtailed three times and had traction issues every time I got moving after a light or a stop sign. I normally don't fishtail in Ohio snow. It was the same going back.

At 1:30PM one of the managers informed all the office staff that it was time to go home. A few weeks ago our HR guy had told me that they had only ever closed our office due to weather one time in the ten years he'd worked there. Now it's two.

I slid and fishtailed my way back to my suburb and because it was nearly time for school to let out, I decided to save my sons the walk home in the blowing snow and pick them up. Of course, they had no way to know I was off work and waiting out in the parking lot for them, so I had to strategically position my car so that I'd be in the path of where they leave the lot to walk home. The middle school is right next to the high school, across a large parking lot. It lets out first, so I got into position and started looking for Rob. I looked and looked and looked. Hundreds of kids streamed out of the building for a good ten minutes, but no Rob. It's not like he's hard to spot, either. He's a tall boy with a distinctive swagger and a mane of hair that sticks out from under his hat. Jeff really wants him to cut it, but I love it, so I stick up for him.

After fifteen minutes of fruitless scanning, I gave up and figured I must have missed him getting into someone else's car. So I pulled out of the lot and headed up the road to our neighborhood (which is directly across the road from the school, but my house is in the northern half of the subdivision, so I have to drive up past the high school to turn in - about three tenths of a mile.) I was looking over toward the high school as I drove to see if it was letting out. Bad plan. It's a relatively narrow road with deep ditches on either side. I went off the edge. Happily, I managed to recover before I went all the way into the ditch. But from then on out I was much more attentive to the road.

I called the house as I pulled into the neighborhood, assuming Rob was already there. But he wasn't. So I drove around the route he walks and hunted for him. Still no Rob. I was getting irritated, but I thought maybe he had stayed after for something play related. By then I was pretty sure there wasn't going to be any performance at all this weekend and I was getting concerned that they might try to reschedule for next weekend, when I'm planning to be in the Washington DC area, visiting Freaks.

I pulled back across the main road and into the high school lot to survey the entry to the neighborhood and the exit from the high school - by now it was letting out. As I waited, Rob finally called me to let me know he was home. He'd stayed after with a friend whose mom teaches there and she'd driven him home. He hadn't actually even left the building yet when I left to hunt for him. Best laid plans and whatnot. But I did manage to spot my oldest son, Alec, as he was leaving the high school lot. So did a lovely young lady who was directly behind me in the line of cars leaving the lot.

Much to Alec's chagrin, both the young lady and I rolled our windows down to call to him at the same time. He stood there for a moment looking back and forth between vehicles and then chose to walk over to hers and let her know (with a sheepish shrug) "Amazingly enough, that's my mom in front of you. But thanks for the offer!" Then he rode home with me. Poor Alec.

We turned on the news at dinner time to see what the latest dire warnings were. I bypassed Storm Team Four and went for the Local on the 8's at The Weather Channel. I saw something I'd never seen before in the printed forecast under the little pictures of weather for the day: "Blizzard" Apparently it's an official weather term. *l* That was ominous. Our whole section of the state has been under a blizzard warning since yesterday evening and it is supposed to expire by 4PM today.

When I got up this morning at around 9, I opened the curtains and looked out on a pure white landscape and a pure white skyscape. My mom's cement sundial had just its top peeping out above the drifts in the back yard. When we opened the back door to let the dogs out, several inches of powder fell into the house from the porch.

Currently, Jeff is digging a path from the back door out into the yard so that Teddybear doesn't have to hop through the little trail that Fred blazes as he walks. Alec and Rob are trying to find the driveway.

Our county is under a level two snow emergency - they don't want people on the roads unless they have a very pressing reason. So we'll just be hanging around the house today. Which really isn't too different from what we do most weekends anyway. Jeff will have the hardest time with it because he doesn't do sitting still very well. He usually gets out and about for an hour or two every Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully all the shoveling will keep him busy enough. I have bathrooms to clean and the never ending laundry to do and a pretty good book to curl up in my recliner with.

Oh! I almost forgot! The play is rescheduled for Tuesday night at 7. So only one performance. And they had to cancel a previously scheduled PTO meeting to get it in. I knew it would be a tricky thing because they have to line up custodial staff and security and other staff for evening events. It will be crowded, but I'm going to get there as early as possible.

What a day

Jan. 26th, 2008 10:36 pm
Welcome to the world, little swedirish freaklet. *g*
Last year:
My little company was sold to an evil overlord with delusions of grandeur who tried to seduce me to his horrible plans with visions of power and money and the occasional unwanted caress. I declined.

I quit yet another job and spent yet another frustrating month seeking new employment.

I started yet another new adventure in the world of work.

I read a lot of good books. I was happily introduced to Odd, by Dean Koontz. I get to start the third in that series today.

I watched a reasonable amount of interesting television, most notibly Veronica Mars on DVD, Lost season three (twice!), and was introduced to Heroes. And it was a good year for House.

I saw a few good movies. My favs of the year were 300 and I am Legend.

I took up knitting again and have found it very pleasant.

I got to see a lot of good friends.

I had a wonderful trip to the NC coast with my extended family.

I had a wonderful trip to Disney World with my nuclear family, minus the oldest son, who was traveling with the band.

I got some nice new furniture.

I paid off my mini-van and am driving a completely paid for vehicle for the first time in over a decade. That feels good.

I lost seven pounds and gained back five of them, which is a net loss of two, and puts me on target for getting back to my 'pre-Mom's death' range in about two more years. I'm determined to get back there before I hit the next decade of metabolic decline.

I got my hair layered and am happy with it for the first time in twelve years. I am freed from the everlasting pony-tail! But I'm still using the same color - sometimes change is just too scary to contemplate.

My sons have continued to amaze me with their wit and wisdom and growth.

In this new year:

I hope to stay with the same freaking company for the entire year and only present ONE w-2 form to Jeff for the 2008 taxes.

I hope to read a lot more good books, starting with Brother Odd, and including more Malazan and HOPEFULLY including A Dance with Dragons. I might do a Jordan re-read, too, if there ends up being bright light at the end of that tunnel.

I hope to see a full frickin season of Lost and Heroes and House, not ruined by the stupid greed of the television and motion picture industry that can't be bothered to give an equitable share of the profits to the true creative force behind the industry.

I hope to see some more good movies - maybe even some great ones. I particularly want to see that water horse movie.

I hope to finish my current knitting project within the month and start a new one soon!

I hope to see a lot of friends.

I hope to have a grand vacation in either Mexico or the Caribbean with my nuclear family. It will be the last before our oldest flees the nest.

I think I'm finished buying new furniture for a long time, but I hope to do some interesting projects in the back yard. I'd like to design and build a nice pergola - in an Asian style.

I'm going to keep driving my mom van for the foreseeable future. Someday I'll trade it in for a Mustang.

I hope to have a net loss of another two pounds this year. The goal will be to hit the low weight by June, in time for our vacation and hold it to medium as long as possible. November and December are the killer months, when my primitive brain kicks in and tries to store up for the lean winter months. I am a slave to my evolution.

I'm still not going to change my hair color. But I'd better get my roots done soon. There are an alarming number of silvery white hairs popping up these days.

My oldest son will graduate high school in May and head off to some institute of higher learning in the fall. While he's starting his freshman year at university, my youngest will be starting his freshman year of high school. I have no little boys anymore.

I hope to find out soon where Alec is headed in the fall. I hope to see Robert have a wonderful success as bad guy Jedd in the middle school production of Oklahoma.

I expect to have lots of my extended family here for Alec's graduation.

I expect at least THREE wonderful new babies to enter the world of my friends and family this year. One will be our newest nephew.

I expect 2008 to be a good year.


Nov. 4th, 2007 04:12 pm
I don't think I've ever thought of myself as being overly interested in boobies one way or the other.

short quiz results inside )

Free Rice

Oct. 28th, 2007 01:16 pm
CarrieB told me about a really cool website last night. I think she's going to post a link, too, but I'm posting this mainly because of a challenge from Patrick last night. The website is www.freerice.com. It serves three excellent purposes. First, it's an addictive game for people who love words - and maybe even a bit for those who only like them. Second, it's a vocabulary builder. Third it's an attempt at alleviating some of the problem of world hunger.

It's pretty simple and a brilliant idea, as far as I'm concerned. The creators of the site partnered with advertisers and groups who already have a supply chain in place and set up a basic click and contribute format. A word in boldfaced type shows up and you get four possible word choices to go with it. You click the one that most closely matches the bold word as possible definition. There is a sponsor ad below the list. Clicking your word definition choice pops up a new sponsor. Each click makes the sponsor make a donation equivalent to ten grains of rice. You play, they pay.

For every three words in a row you get right, your score goes up by one point. Each time you miss one you lose a point. The words get progressively more difficult as you gain points. The program is smart enough to determine difficulty level of words based on cummulative player responses. The words missed most often move to the more difficult levels, the words gotten right most often move to easier levels. Lots of people have played. This started only three weeks ago and has been going like gangbusters since. I played for a couple of hours last night while chatting and managed to donate a couple thousand grains of rice just by entertaining and challenging myself AND I learned some interesting new words! Amazing! Genius!

The faq is informative, as are the totals stats. Highest possible score is 50 and they say the highest most people achieve is 48. I managed to hit 49 but couldn't get to 50. Patrick got 50! The words are really obscure as you get to the higher levels.

Anyway, Patrick wondered how many grains of rice in a bowl, so I counted. I needed to know. And no, I'm not insane. I used lovely mathematics to aid my quest. I counted how many grains in a 1/4 teaspoon (American measurements, so quaint, I know) and multiplied up from there. Assuming a bowl of rice is standard serving of one cup cooked rice and you get a cup of cooked rice from 1/4 cup uncooked, and 1/4 cup=4Tablespoons and 3 teaspoons = a tablespoon (got the conversions off my handy dandy fridge magnet), then one bowl of rice is roughly 2400 grains. I bought lunch for one person last night, having fun. Genius.
Happy Birthday, Adam! Hope it's a great one!

at a loss

Sep. 16th, 2007 10:45 pm
julival2: (my bears)
how is it possible that i am the only one of us that has heard about this yet?! you guys! this is bad! somebody with more internet saavy than I have, please tell me that it's not true.

no, he was not a family member. no he was not a friend or even an acquaintance. but he was a force in my life. he drove me nuts with his pace, but he brought me to some amazing people. my life would be poorer without his influence. i am sorry he is gone.
you bloggers you. come to satnite chat!
If you do not have GRR Martin friend-linked to your lj, you seriously must click to see his latest entry. I laughed so hard that Jeff had to come in from the kitchen to see what was happening. The best part is when the eyeball pops out. *lmao*

The Red Typing:
[livejournal.com profile] grrm
I had sooooo much fun last night! My two office coworkers and I left town right after work yesterday evening and road tripped up to Cleveland to see Meatloaf in concert on his 30 years tour for BooH III. It was a great concert!

We didn't get back to town until after 1AM, though, so i'm running on about 4 hours sleep right now. I'm only going to go in for a half day of work, though. We divided up the day into three 4 hour, overlapping shifts so we could all recover. Then I have to work again tomorrow morning for three hours.

Monday the 20th is D-day. I can't wait. Maybe I'll post more of my saga this afternoon after a nap.

is a Robot that has a Hovercraft Cushion, a 'Ramming Speed' setting and Rudimentary Human Emotions, runs on Nuclear Power, and scatters Ball Bearings behind it.

Force: 4 Handling: 7 Weaponry: 0

To see if your Battle Robot can
defeat julival, enter your name and choose an attack:

fights julival using
I have so much stuff I want to tell you guys. I mean tons of stuff! Why can't I have a couple of extra hours free to do the stuff I just Want to do as opposed to all the stuff i Need to do.

I found another 'mini' toy I Had to Have. I was at Office Max (aka Candyland for Julie) the other day, buying MS Office for home and students (aka contributing to Satan's Empire) so I could open Word documents on my compy and update my resume (more on that later) when I came across a must-have-mini. It's about a 1.25 inch square tape measure, less than half an inch wide. It looks just like a big black and decker tape measure, only it's pink with black trim and very small and cute and it hooks on my key chain. it can measure up to three feet. I love it! They also came in purple, blue, craftsman orange, and black.

So I really need to share the events of my surreal work week with you. They don't really compare to getting free poptarts AND credit from a vending machine (and no chairs fell on me), but they did leave me asking the universe to let me die on Wednesday night and feeling rather pleased with myself on Friday. I'm still feeling rather pleased with myself, actually.

but I also really need to share some pics from my trip to NC coast last month. they're all on the compy, just not resized and loaded to photobucket yet. gah. i'm going to try to get some done tonight while i chat. but chat is hopping tonight! so much to do, so little time.

i figure if i post this now, i'll absolutely have to follow through. i can't just not explain. right? hopefully.
hello dahlinks. I feel very cut off from all of you of late. I've had to carefully navigate posts all week to avoid even the shadow of a hint of a spoiler about You Know What. So I thought I'd just make a quickie (make, not have) to share what I've been up to lately.

We got our copy of You Know What on Saturday morning and my younger son claimed first rights due to his full time at home schedule. Then Jeff and I took him to see #5 at the ultrascreen later in the day (the Toad was magnificent!). I finally managed to get some quality chat time in with C-chick that evening.

Sunday we had to put in an appearance at the old boss's going away party. It was sort of pathetic. Hardly anyone there actually wanted to be there, but we felt obligated so as not to burn those ever important bridges. I did my time there and headed home to get caught up on cleaning and laundry and good ole pms reared its bitchy head well into the evening.

Monday at work was traumatic, as I had to go over new, highly modified work schedules with my two parttime office chicks. There were tears. But we managed to come to a workable alternative. Then I came home to a finished copy of HP and got to dive head first into that pool of escapism. Yay.

Owing to only getting an hour or so of real reading time per day (plus lunch hour on Wednesdays), I'm still only just over half way through, but expect to finish on Saturday.

Tuesday and Wednesday were unspectacular and involved a near moment of panic at lunch time on Wednesday when a group of middle aged men at the both behind me at Beijing Chinese started discussing HP. I honestly and truly slapped my hands over my ears and hummed under my breath to avoid hearing anything. It was not a shining moment.

Today I navigated not one, but two minefields, successfully. The first was a meeting with my new boss that went on for roughly two point five hours and wasn't finished when we stopped. I had to make my potentially controversial opinions known on a few subjects. Fortunately, he took it well and was actually rather complimentary and supportive. I still don't have a feel for how much of his build up of me is salesmanship/manipulatin and how much is sincere, but for now, I'll hope he really means it. Naivete in the business world has bitten my sweet behind more than once, and may again. But I want to trust people.

The second trap zone was the grocery store. Usually it's a fairly safe, if sometimes annoying, end to my Thursday. But today they had put out on display all the back to school goodies. *wistful sigh* I WANT school supplies. I know I do not need them. But I NEED them. I know I have no real use for them. But I MUST HAVE them. They are so pretty! And organizy! And shiny! and and and...i MIGHT need them. *sigh* I only bought a few brightly colored post-it note pads. In the mini size. [on a rather important tangent - am I the only person amongs my freaky friends who feels compelled to buy things that are 'mini'? for some reason, tiny versions of normal things just make me want them whether I need them or not. They're just so CUTE!] (and no, dears, this doesn't apply to certain body parts)[which leads me to another important tangent - I may never find my way back to my main topic - my sister sent me a forwardy email with a little joke (attributed to Andy Rooney of all people) about how men have that saying "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" but now smart women over forty have realized "why buy a whole pig when all you need is a little sausage?" *rotflmao*]

But I digress.

So this weekend will be almost exclusively devoted to sleep, finishing HP, getting some trip photos posted, sleep, and finishing HP. I have to forego Sat nite Chat due to a stupid work related event for Jeff's former boss (whose job Jeff now has). But I shall return next week without fear of spoilerage. Yay!


Jul. 16th, 2007 06:56 pm
In case you were unaware, I was gone all last week. I'm back now. I'm all caught up on my journal and post reading at LJ and FFF. I'm still doing laundry and paying bills. The pictures are on the computer but not edited or uploaded to any hosting site, yet. It was a good week. Now I'm back to Reality®. And it still bites.

Whilst I was away, one of our trainers quit and one of our sales people lost a father in law to a car accident. It was not a good week for my coworkers. But I can't say I'm sorry I wasn't there.

Today I sorted through giant piles of mail at work and at home. My air conditioner at home is broken. My HBO on Demand is not working. Half my soapie episodes didn't record because I have too many f-ing episodes of Lost stored on the DVR for later viewing, prior to start of season four.

My dogs are happy to be home.

book meme

Jul. 4th, 2007 04:39 pm
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4-7 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest (unless it's too troublesome to reach and is really heavy. Then go back to step 1).

But her mind was on John Faa and the parley room, and before long she slipped away up the cobbles again to the Zaal. There was a light in the parley room window. It was too high to look through, but she could hear a low rumble of voices inside.

So she walked up to the door and knocked on it firmly five times. The voices stopped, a chair scraped across the floor, and the door opened, spilling warm naphtha light out on the damp step.

That book was sitting right next to me on the computer desk. I didn't even have to get up. Rob read it a couple of weeks ago and left it sitting here. Handy.

Oh, I should also add that currently Rob is reading The Eye of the World. Light.

for jojo

Jun. 15th, 2007 11:17 pm
1. Your Middle Name:
2. Age:
3. Single or Taken:
4. Favorite Movie:
5. Favorite Song or Album:
6. Favorite Band/Artist:
7. Dirty or Clean:
8. Tattoos and/or Piercings:
9. Do we know each other outside of LJ?
10. What's your philosophy on life?
11. Is the bottle half-full or half-empty?
12. Would you keep a secret from me if you thought it was in my best interest?
13. What is your favorite memory of us?
14. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
15. Tell me one odd/interesting fact about you:
16. You can have three wishes (for yourself, so forget all the 'world peace etc' malarkey) - what are they :
17. Can we get together and make a cake?
18. Which country is your spiritual home?
19. What is your big weakness?
20. Do you think I'm a good person?
21. What was your best/favorite subject at school:
22. Describe your accent:
23. If you could change anything about me, would you?
24. What do you wear to sleep?
25. Trousers or skirts?
26. Cigarettes or alcohol?
27. If I only had one day to live, what would we do together?
28. Will you repost this so I can fill it out for you?
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