Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Congratulations to my husband!

Greetings everyone. I hope your holidays were bright and beautiful, whichever ones you celebrate. Ours were mostly calm and relaxing, once we got past "the big day" itself. I do have some exciting news, though. DH passed the Structural Professional Engineering Exam! He is now an officially licensed Professional Engineer in Structural Engineering. YAY!!! He's been working towards this for 5 years now. You may remember me blogging about him taking the test back in October. He had been studying for it since February, and he nearly drove me crazy in the process, but it was all worth it. HE PASSED, HE PASSED, HE PASSED!! Most people don't pass the first time they take it, but I never doubted that he would. He is truly one of the smartest people I have ever known, and I'm not just saying that as his wife. I'm saying that as a former classmate and grade-competitor as well. Congratulations honey, you deserve it!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

My Christmas Wish for You

A few years ago, I found the best Christmas cards. They had the most awesome poem on them, and I saved one of the cards to use the poem later. I have used it over and over, and I just love the sentiment. I won't be blogging much the next several days. I'll be spending time with my family. But I wanted to leave you with best wishes for very happy holidays (whichever ones you celebrate) and a wonderful new year.

Believe in Christmas Magic
Believe in Ancient Lore
Believe in a hundred impossible things
The New Year may hold in store

Believe in Heavenly Angels
In Santas and Elves by the score
Believe in a hundred impossible things
In Flying Reindeer and more

Believe in a Babe in a manger
In Wise Men and gifts galore
Believe in a million impossible things
You've never believed before

Monday, December 22, 2003

Happy 30th Anniversary, Mom and Dad

I would like to take this space and opportunity to congratulate my parents, Mark and Rita Warren, on 30 years of marriage. Especially in this day and age of divorce being the norm, it is a tremendous accomplishment. Thank you so much for being such awesome parents, and for teaching me what love, marriage, and family are all about. I LOVE YOU!

A smashing success!

Okay, you may have noticed that I haven't been around my blog much lately. Life is crazy, especially around the holidays. Add in a wedding and a "meet the boyfriend" party (thrown by me for my best friend, who lives in Texas but was visiting for the wedding, along with her boyfriend who most people hadn't met before) the Saturday before Christmas, and you get Erin not being around the computer long enough to blog. Well, even if I do say so myself, the party was a smashing success! The Friday pre-baking didn't go so well. I burned $10 of pecans, I dropped a pyrex bowl on my big toe (from a height of almost 4 feet; let me tell ya, it HURT), I tried to mess up another recipe. But I'll take a bad pre-baking day over a bad party any day. Everything Saturday went off without a hitch, from the wedding to the reception to the party baking to the homemade spaghetti dinner to the party itself. In case you are curious, here is the menu for 9 people:

* Dinner - homemade spaghetti, bread, salad
* Dessert - pound cake, homemade hot fudge sauce, whipped cream
* Snacks - Hershey's Holiday Miniatures, Mint Hershey Kisses, chewy Christmas tree peppermints, chessman cookies, pirouette cookies (hazelnut and mint), pretzels, chips and salsa, cinnamon pecans (the ones I burned the first batch, but remade), homemade fantasy fudge, salted peanut marshmallow chews, sausage balls, and rice krispy treats, plus Katie brought homemade oatmeal cookies that were fabulous

People were having enough fun to stay until 1:30 am! Then we stayed up until roughly 2:30 putting up the food and loading the dishwasher. I'm still tired. I haven't thrown any kind of major party in over 4 years, and as tired as I am, I'm not likely to again for another 4 years. LOL But this one went off so well, I just had to come brag on it for a moment. After all that, Christmas will be a quiet boring affair! Thank goodness.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Saw "Return of the King"

Very good. Not as good as Fellowship, but better than Towers. Full musings here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Is Christmas over? Did I miss it?

Apparently, since the Christmas selling season begins earlier and earlier, then the end of the season should also begin earlier. This year, there were Christmas decorations up/for sale beginning in mid-late October. Guess I shouldn't be surprised that it's all on sale for 30-50% off on December 15. That just seems so sad! I remember when the stores were full of Christmas stuff right up through Christmas Eve. Everything was always so festive! Now it all looks picked over, like it's the Day After Christmas Sale, and it's barely the middle of the month. Now the KFC can't complain! I'm a little late to the Christmas spirit this year, and finding everything on sale (if picked over) as far as decorations are concerned is great for the wallet. It's just a little depressing to the spirit.

At least my wreath looks festive (made with some of those half-off items) and my mantle is cheery with stockings and such. Like my Christmas Tree Pooh? That's as close as I'm getting to a tree this year. No point in putting one up if we won't be here to enjoy it. Too much feline temptation, me thinks. Ah well, we'll have our own tree one day, once the kids arrive. Until then, we'll be treeless.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Quote for the day

I know, not much blogging lately, and probably not much today, but I did want you to have *something* new. I can't remember now where I read this, but it is my most favorite quote in the world.

"We live in a universe, not a multiverse. Among other things, this means that science, engineering, the search for justice, the search for beauty, and the search for holiness are interrelated." ~Author unknown

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Cat-mas Carols

Our friends David and Ina gave us a wonderfully small and totally hilarious book called Catmas Carols, by Laurie Loughlin. I had skimmed one or two earlier, but I actually sat down and read through all of them last night. One had DH and me in stitches, and I just have to share it with you! I swear they must have been spying on our house to write this. Cat lovers, run out right now and buy this book! You won't be sorry (but you will be laughing so hard you'll cry).

"Oh, Come All Ye Furful"
Oh, come all ye furful,
Hungry and well-rested,
Oh, come ye, oh, come ye to
The master bedroom.
come and behold them
Snoring loudly 'neath the sheets,
For now it's time to wake them,
For now it's time to wake them,
For now it's time to wake them
On this Christmas morn.

Meow, choirs of felines,
Meow in expectation.
Meow till you get your Mom
And Dad out of bed.
Glory to food
In the cat dish.
Oh, come let us enjoy it.
Oh, come let us enjoy it.
Oh, come let us enjoy it,
Breakfast at last!
~by Laurie Loughlin

Sunday, December 07, 2003

No expounding, just pondering

I just finished reading Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown. This book so precisely describes my belief in how science and religion interrelate, it is frightening. A two line statement in this book sums it up beautifully, and I wanted to put it here for you to ponder.

Science and Religion are not at odds.
Science is simply too young to understand.
~ from Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown

Friday, December 05, 2003

Ho, Ho, Buzz?

This falls into the "now why didn't *I* think of that" category. You know those really long lines you have to wait in to see Santa at the mall? Well, I'm betting the people who have to live with the complaints came up with this brilliant idea: Santa Pagers. It works just like a restaurant: you walk up, you give your name, they give you an approximate wait time and a pager. You are then free to wander around the mall, waiting for your pager to go off. Once it does, just show up and see Santa. Finally someone got some sense!

Now if they could just bring the prices down to something more reasonable. I thought about my best friend and me having our picture made with Santa my last year in college, but when I checked the prices, I nearly choked! It was like $50 for not too many pictures. I just couldn't believe it. If it still costs that much, I may just have to do without Santa pictures for my future children. I was always crying in mine anyway (and we have the photos to prove it). We'll see. Somehow, I have a hunch that when my little boy or girl looks at me and asks to go see ol' Mr. Kringle, I'll just have to say yes (especially if they inherit DH's brown eyes). ::sigh:: God makes them cute for a reason, and they sure do know it! LOL

Thursday, December 04, 2003

I'm here, really I am.

Sorry all. I just haven't felt very expoundful lately. (When in doubt, make up a word, like expoundful. LOL) Too much going on at the moment in life and holidays and work. (And for anyone trying to read anything into that, don't. I've already been disappointed this month.) So, Erin is alive and well, just dealing with "the real world" a little too much lately. I'll be back soon. Maybe tomorrow, but definitely by Monday. Might even have my review of Master and Commander complete by then. Shame on me for being so late!

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Ahoy matey!

And we're back. Thanksgiving was busy but good, and it's always wonderful to see family. And as predicted, the DVD of Pirates of the Caribbean was waiting for me when I got home Monday night. Yes, I've already watched it. ::sigh:: Life doesn't get any better than that. Next up, the 4 (yes, four!) commentaries, which I will probably be through by the end of this coming weekend. We shall see. Just wanted you to know I'm back, and I'll be expounding again soon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Erin is alive!

Just very busy these last two days (for me, at least) before the holidays. No time to expound even. I'll be gone the next few days visiting family all over Georgia. By the time we get back, we will have put almost 1000 miles on our car without leaving the state! And we'll do it all again in less than a month. ::sigh:: Proof how much I love my family.

So, expect more expounding sometime Tuesday. Until then, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2003

Bah humbug

Last time I checked the calendar, it is still November, yes? Then please explain to me why the heck a radio station is playing Christmas music and Santa is already at the mall?!?!?! Really folks, it's only one more week until Thanksgiving. You couldn't wait just one more week? During December, I *love* the fact that 94.9FM plays holiday music constantly. Music is one of my favorite things about the season. But you really should wait for the season to arrive. I was completely stunned when I flipped it on yesterday and heard Michael Crawford's "O Holy Night" (which still gives me goosebumps). It is a glorious piece of music sung by an awesome voice, BUT it's just not time yet. I'm as anxious as the next person to pop in The London Brass Christmas or hear Straight No Chaser do their most hysterical version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas." And I'll pack up those CDs and take them with me when we leave here on Tuesday to do "the south Georgia family tour." They will be at the ready to pop in the player on NOVEMBER 28, not before. Harumph!

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Geeking in public

This phrase was coined by my circle of friends one night at Starbucks. A group of us from Georgia Tech were having coffee (hot cocoa for me, the non-coffee drinker) after going to hear a friend's band, and several of them started playing with blocks in the kids area (we were the only ones there, since it was after 10 pm). Naturally, this lead to "building something," which naturally lead all the engineering and architecture majors to comment on the physics of what they were doing and why it wasn't working. When we realized that the clerk was staring at us like we were speaking a foreign language (which, in a way, we were), someone commented, "hey, no geeking in public." It's just kinda stuck since then. And I'm about to do it in one of the most public forums available: the web.

Last night on Star Trek Enterprise, the ship had come to rest, with no engines, inside a cloud full of magnetic particles. They had to get out (I won't go into why), but the engines would take weeks to fix. So, they used their two shuttle pods as tug boats. But it took the engines quite a while and way more power than the safety limits to get the ship to move (emperilling the lives of the shuttle pilots, etc). Now, here's my problem: it should *not* have taken that much power to overcome the inertia of the ship. It was out in space! No friction, no (or virtually no) gravity. According to the theory, if you shot a BB gun enough times out in open space, you could reach the speed of light. So these two shuttle pods should have been able to generate *more* than enough power to move Enterprise, without ever reaching the safety limits, much less exceeding them. Granted, they never gave the density of the particles or showed a diagram of how the magnetic field was affecting things. Maybe it was enough to provide sufficient inertia to make it difficult to move them, but I doubt it. Now I know why my mom (a nurse) doesn't ever watch medical shows! LOL

Feast or famine

Some days I have trouble coming up with something to expound on (yesterday was not one of those days, BTW; I was just very busy). Other days, I have so many different things on my mind that it's hard to decide where to start blogging. If they are fairly generic topics that don't relate to something going on in the current time frame, then I'll add it to a list of things to blog on later during one of my famine periods (I know, how pathetic is that). Today is one of those feast type days where I have so much on my mind, I don't even know where to start.

I have been told on numerous occasions that people "can see my wheels turning," that I'm always thinking about something. It's true; I am virtually always thinking about *multiple* somethings. But they aren't always important somethings. DH has learned after all these years that if he asks what I'm thinking and I say "nothing," that really means that I'm thinking a ton of small and not really discussion-worthy things. Occasionally, he'll ask me to tell him what nothings I am thinking, and he always seems surprised at the length of the list.

How long are these lists? Well, here is what I am currently pondering: I need to be doing work right now :-p, I'm really really tired, I had two dreams last night that are still troubling me and I am pondering their meaning (if any), there was (IMO) a scientific error on Star Trek Enterprise last night that is bugging me (which I will probably blog on later, geek that I am), I wonder if I will really be able to come off of my blood pressure medicine in two weeks like the doctor said I might (fingers crossed), I haven't mused on Master and Commander yet, we have tons of things we need to do with the house before conceiving, we still haven't conceived (yes, this is only month two, but I'm used to being an overachiever), I still need to mail my ornaments for the exchange, I haven't even started thinking about Christmas presents yet when I'm usually 1/2 to 3/4 of the way finished by now, we haven't solidified Thanksgiving plans yet, I can't even settle on a Christmas card to send out and I need to mail them soon so the overseas ones make it, West Wing was much better last night than it has been so far this season, there will be a headcount reduction announced around the first of the year when we just went through one, I miss my brother (in Miami) and my best friend (in Texas) badly, and I have a ton of weddings coming up in the next year. That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

Whew! I fell better getting all of that off my brain. Now I can get back to pondering it all. Might even expound on it later. Aren't you excited? LOL

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Goodbye, Michael Kamen

How very very sad. Composer Michael Kamen has died at age 55 from MS. He is one of my most favorite composers. I am a film score junkie, and I have several by him. He did Mr. Holland's Opus, the Lethal Weapons, the Die Hards, and many others. What a tremendous loss to the musical community, as well as to Hollywood. :-(

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

An obscure family tradition

Well, not yet, but I hope it will be in the not too distant future. I was thinking about how anxious I am to get home for Thanksgiving. Please allow me a small aside to discuss my use of the word home: Generally, when I say (or type) "home," I mean my house here in Atlanta. But I definitely think of Brunswick (where my parents live) as "home" as well, as in my hometown. Strange, since I only actually *lived* there for 4 years, but that's a discussion for another time.

Anyway, we used to drive from wherever we were living at the time (lots of moving growing up) to visit family, and as soon as we got close to Brunswick, my father's home town, he would turn to my brother and me and say, "Smell that marsh! Can you smell it?" I'd close my eyes, take a deep breath.... and no, I couldn't smell anything, except the Pulp Mill on occasion. Bleck! All those trips, he'd make the same comment, and I never could smell a thing. I've always had a pretty good sense of smell, so this surprised me. I seriously thought he was imagining it. We moved there when I was 14, and I "moved away" to start college four years later, but I was close enough (only 2 hours away) that I visited every couple of weeks. I still didn't smell it.

Two years later, I "really moved away" to complete my degree in Atlanta. I had been here for almost two straight months, it was Thanksgiving break, and I was so desperate to go home. I headed down the interstates; it was dark, I was tired, and I just wanted to be there! And all of the sudden, it hit me. The marsh. That smell! It smells like home!! I couldn't breathe deep enough, couldn't get enough of that wonderful scent into my body. Tears stung my eyes as it dawned on me: that was what Dad had been talking about all those years. In living there, it had become a part of me, but I had to move away in order to recognize it.

Now, every time I make that trip, a minimum of 4 times a year, the warm earthy scent hits me, and I hear my father's voice and I can't help but smile. Home. ::deep breath:: It smells like home. I can't wait to make that drive with my own children. Even if they roll their eyes and don't understand, like I did for so many years, I will still turn to them, every time, and say, "Smell that marsh! Can you smell it?"


Oh, oh, owie, owie! My sides are killing me from laughing so hard. Everyone at work wants to know what the heck is so funny over in my cube! Well, I'll tell ya. It's my brother's latest blog entry. Very short, precise, heartfelt, and the most hysterical thing I have read in ages. So please, put down the drinks, make sure anything in your mouth is swallowed or spit out (as appropriate), then go over and read Jacob's Snot Haiku. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Might take a while to load, as blogspot seems to be running quite slow today, but I assure it is worth the wait. As always, Little Brother, you never fail to make me smile! Now, grab a handful of tissue, and go find that life you claim to have. ;-) Love, S

Monday, November 17, 2003

Master and Commander

I know a couple of you are waiting (with bated breath? or not....) to hear what I thought of Master and Commander. I found it very blah. Not bad, not good, overly violent, and rather boring in many places. DH didn't care for it either, but I know the critics seem to love it. The acting was very good, but I found the story just..... lacking. A more in-depth "official" musing later.

Title change

Just thought I would point out that the "title" of my blog has changed to "Erin Expounds." Alliterative and short. I never liked the other one (Erin's Musings on Life and Such); it was really just a place holder until I found something better. I now have the movie "Maverick" to thank for the new one, and I like it much better. May change again (I'm wishy-washy about things like this), but it'll do for now.

Maniacal laughter.....

BWAAAAHAAAHAAAHAAAHAAA! I laugh in my best Vincent Price voice. I got my brother hooked on blogging!

Friday, November 14, 2003

Puddles and oceans

As I was listening to one of my favorite songs on the way home yesterday, it occurred to me that people reading my blog probably think I'm fairly shallow. I haven't talked about anything heavy or deep so far, and I've kept my religious views to myself. But I do think about things a lot, both frivolous and deep. I contemplate God and the universe frequently, most often in my car by myself. So to anyone who may have thought that the extent of my interests were movies and cats, there is more. When I feel moved to discuss it here, I will. Just haven't felt moved in that direction lately.

However, I would like to post the chorus to that song I spoke of, as it pretty much sums up my views on the world at the moment. With my future children (no, not yet) on my mind a lot recently, these words echo louder and louder. BTW, this is in no way a political statement, so please don't take it as such. (I keep my views on politics even more private than my religious views.)

Pray for good and pray for love
Pray for peace and pray it's enough
Pray for salvation
Pray that we're right
Pray one day we open our eyes and
Pray for them and pray for us
Pray one day we can live as one
Pray for the children whose time is to come
Just pray they forgive us for the stupid things we've done

~from "Pray," by Tina Cousins

Thursday, November 13, 2003

People actually read my musings!

LOL! I just had to laugh. Stacey has quoted one of my Movie Musings in her blog. Nice to know I'm not wasting my time archiving those things. It really is quite a thrill to find out that people are reading anything I have online, be it any of my websites or my blog. ::blush:: And in case you are wondering, yes I intend to catch Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World this weekend.

Stitching news: I haven't been stitching lately, so there is no news. Sorry!

Reading news: I have finished the first book in Anne Bishop's Dark Jewels Trilogy titled Daughter of the Blood. On to book 2, Heir to the Shadows. Quite enjoying the series so far.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

The dark ages

You know, back before everyone was electronically connected to everyone else? My entire building's connection to the server went down at work around Noon on Monday. The server itself was fine, we just couldn't reach it. No problem, right? Wrong! No email, no way to pull data (a major function of my job, especially the first 10 days or so of each month), no access to any of our shared drives, no internet (shock, gasp!) or intranet, no faxing, no printing. We were dead in the water with no way to communicate with anyone else except via phone! ARGH! After about an hour or so, I just sat here playing solitaire. There was literally nothing else I could do. Boss sent us all home around 4 pm. The connection was not restored for most of yesterday. I went home at 10:30, since I could reach the server via dail-up from my house. At least *something* was accomplished. Things seem to be back to normal today (thus I can blog!). How on earth did the business world function 25 years ago?!

Forgot to mention that the musings on The Matrix Revolutions are up now.

Friday, November 07, 2003

it's a small world after all.....

Now that you'll be humming that the rest of the day, if not the entire weekend, my work here is finished! ::evil cackle::

No, really, I do have a point. I was noticing on my drive in this morning that I often see the same cars while commuting. Now this may not seem strange to you, but considering that I drive from an Atlanta suburb all the way into midtown Atlanta, I find this quite surprising. There are literally thousands of other people on the roads with me. How likely is it that I will see the same vehicle again and again? I'm not taking just once or twice. I see a particular blue van (recognizable by its proliferation of bumper stickers) 2-3 times a week. But I never see, or at least notice, being with the same cars on the way home. They always seem to be different. Just my random observation for today.

Have a great weekend everyone! "See" you on Monday.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Bronze or marble?

I had an idea of something to blog on as I drove in to work this morning. I got sidetracked by events at work, then it was time to eat (and I was starving). I get back to my desk with my food, only to talk to my brother and find out he was in a car accident. He's fine, his truck is fixable, they guy who hit him had insurance (albeit not good insurance), and it happened right in front of a cop, who not only cited the other guy at fault for the wreck, but also issued him a ticket for running the red light that caused the accident in the first place. So yes, it could have been much worse. But my mother was in two accidents in two weeks back in August, and now this.

I am just irrationally angry about it at the moment. Don't get me wrong; I'm grateful he's not hurt! But I'm angry about it, too. It's just so stupid! If people would just follow the freakin' rules, we wouldn't be having these kinds of problems. Is that really so much to ask? And three wrecks in the family in three months is a little much for anyone to take, I think, especially since my parents live 6 hours away, and my brother is all the way down in Miami. I feel so useless, unable to help or comfort, except by phone. As my dad says, "When do I get to be the pigeon? 'Cause I'm sure tired of being the statue!"

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

I've seen The Matrix Revolutions

And I'm sure you're all wondering what The Muse has to say. Quite frankly, she has no clue. Let me chew on it a while and I'll get back to you. I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. Was it more or less? I'm undecided. Just different. That's all for now. May not even muse on it for a couple of days. I need to think about it. And I'm not ready to talk about it, not even with DH. Stay tuned.....

Another promise

Two rainbows in a week. What is this world coming to? This one I can see out my cube window, arching all the way across Piedmont Park. Just beautiful! Not nearly as bright nor as wide as the one I saw a few days ago, but much bigger and more "classic." Can't help but smile. :-)

I'm sure many of you are wondering what my recent fascination is with nature. Well, as a city girl, I just don't get to see much of it. This is primarily by choice; I'd rather be inside than outside any day! LOL So when nature does manage to creep in through the concrete walls of downtown, it is all the more amazing to me.

Shall I move on to a vent about leaves? They don't call it "fall" for nothin'. DH spent hours this past weekend bagging leaves out of our yard. Yesterday when I got home, there were twice as many leaves down. Why bother picking them up every weekend? Seems like we should just wait until they all come down, *then* bag them. Would probably annoy our neighbors, though. And now, with the rain today, they're all wet and everything. Bleck! Glad I'm not the yard person.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Gold and flame

Wow. I love the view from my cube. How many people can say that? As I've mentioned here before, my cube looks out across Piedmont Park in midtown Atlanta from the height of 9 stories. It is full of all kinds of trees (sorry, I have no idea what kind, I'm not a flora person). It's been fairly green up to now, with a few slightly turned patches here and there. But this afternoon, I'm suddenly seeing lots of changes. Plenty of reds coming out, with brilliant patches of yellow here and there. Hopefully the wind and rain will hold off long enough for me to enjoy it for a few days. It's always a shame to come in and see bare sticks. You can even see the houses sprinkled throughout sections of the park with all of the leaves down. Then spring comes and covers them, and we start all over. Such simple pleasures.

To completely change gears, it is also a simple pleasure to have things delivered directly to your door. For instance, Finding Nemo arrived on our doorstep yesterday. I love getting these things early! Haven't watched it yet, but soon. And the best part? Only 4 weeks until Pirates! YIPEE!!! *Ahem* Oh, and in stitching news (see, I do have some occasionally), my Just Nan Christmas order arrived. Charts and Embellishment Packs for: Snowfire Christmas, Christmas Elegance, Christmas Memories, and Tinsel Tapestry. I have also signed up for Chatelaine's Christmas Mystery (don't know what it looks like until you get the chart, in 12 pieces, one a month). Should be great fun! It better be, or I'll have to take it up with the person who talked me into it, LOL!

Erin's Musings now interactive

Check me out with the comments box! I'm just sorry it took me this long to get it put on there. So, as scary as it may be for me, you can now "talk back" if you would like.

Monday, November 03, 2003

It just looks wrong.

Before I forget, the latest Movie Musings are up. This time, Runaway Jury, Love Actually (sneak preview), and Brother Bear. Enjoy!

You have probably noticed from reading this blog that I am a terrible speller. No, really, I am. It's just not a gene I was blessed with (unlike my parents and brother). So I tend to doubt my abilities in this arena. Today, I had to look up the words "system" and "size." Granted, these seem to be fairly simple words, and they are. In fact, I have been spelling them (correctly) for many many years. Why, then, did I suddenly feel the need to look them up today? Because they just looked wrong! No matter how many times I typed them or spell-checked them, they still didn't look right. I don't know if it was the font they were typed in (on someone else's spreadsheet), or what; they just looked "off" somehow. Now, they look fine, but for a few minutes there, I was really stressing. I have this problem on occasion, usually with very common words (last week sometime, it was chair). Guess I'm just weird, but then, you already knew that. ;-)

Friday, October 31, 2003

Finally Friday! (very rambly)

Man, this week has just dragged on and on and on. (BTW, for all those in suspense from yesterday, my friend is still employed.) I was really starting to think that Friday would just never get here. And here's a paradox for you: how can the days and weeks drag by, but the months fly by? How the heck is it practically November already? Wasn't it just May a couple of weeks ago? (I clearly remember May; summer and fall were just a blur.) My perceptions of time are not helped by Daylight Saving Time. Actually, I think we should have it "on" (in spring forward mode) all the time. It should NOT be dark at 6 pm. I'm just waking up by then. It also should NOT be light at 6 am!!! 6 am still qualifies as "dark-thirty" in my book, thus it should still be *dark,* dontcha think? At least the 6 am light thing will correct itself as we move towards the winter solstice. By Christmas, it will be dark at 5:30. I pity Jacob. He's so far east in Miami, it might be fully dark before 5 pm for him. ::shudder:: I don't even want to try and imagine 5 pm Atlanta traffic if it were fully dark at that time. It's bad enough in broad daylight.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Downsizing sucks!

And my company isn't even the one being downsized (this time). A friend of mine and I chat online virtually every work day. She has seen me through innumerable downsizings here, to the point that I don't really even worry about them any more; they're just a normal part of life. This time, however, it is her company downsizing, by 15% if I recall correctly. I get to be the proverbial shoulder to lean on, and I gotta tell you, it's stressful! Not nearly as stressful as what she's going through, granted, but it's no fun either. So far (well, as of 1:30 Eastern time), she was okay, but lots of people she knows were gone already by then, with the potential for more. It is now 3:15 my time (so, 1:15 her time), and I haven't heard from her in almost 2 hours. I figure she's probably okay, but I'm so totally distracted, wondering what is happening. I hope she gets in touch soon. The suspense is killing me!

And Fred (that's her code name; don't ask!), if you're reading this, I'm thinking of you. Hope all is well.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Blessed, cursed, and blessed again, all in 5 minutes

My drive home yesterday was rather interesting. I had already had a somewhat rough day at work, and I just wanted to go home! Naturally, this means that I didn't leave until right at 5 (along with everyone else in midtown Atlanta), and all the looney drivers were out. It was cold (I think yesterday's official high was only 56, BRRR), it was overcast, and it was well on its way to sunset by the time I was nearing my house. I was also running really low on gas. Blessing #1: The gas station I like to go to was practically empty when I got to it! I couldn't believe it. Every other time I try to stop there on my way home, it is completely packed out. This time, there were only 2 cars at the 14 pumps. While I'm pumping, I decided to wash my back windshield. It was totally hazy from all of our recent rain. Scrubbed it down, wiped it clean, and I was ready to roll. Gas finished pumping, got in the car, pulled out from under the shelter. Curse: It starts raining! Again, I could NOT believe it. I had not finished cleaning that stupid glass even 60 seconds ago, and here it is all spotted again. I wasn't really angry, just in total disbelief. Yes, it was cloudy, but it sure didn't look like rain. The perfect end to the perfect day, ya know? Then comes Blessing #2: As I turn right on the street that connects the main drag to my street, just beyond the clearing in front of me, is a big beautiful rainbow. It's wide, and it's simply glowing against the gathering darkness behind it (after all, rainbows are always opposite the sun). It wasn't a complete one, just the "right hand leg" of it, so to speak. And as I turn left onto my street, I see the other leg, leading straight to my house. Such a warm fuzzy feeling. And if it weren't for being delayed by crazy traffic and the rain that messed up my newly cleaned windshield, the timing and conditions would have been different when I arrived at that intersection, and I would have missed the chance to see it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Erin wuz (not) here

Okay, so I never blogged yesterday. Really just not much to say. DH thinks he did okay on his test, but "it could go either way." So, sometime in January, we should find out for sure. The rest of the weekend was pretty frustrating. The opera was just okay, with some *terrible* dancing, and we were so tired from all of the stress of the week, we felt our time was better spent sleeping. Saturday, we were all ready for our "Indy-thon" (watch the entire boxed set of Indiana Jones films), but two of the four discs didn't work, and Best Buy would not exchange them. "They play fine in our player, so it must be your player's fault!" Well :p on them. I was going to take it up with the manager, but we've had a few other glitches with the player in the last few months (none of which explain why it wouldn't even pick up the disc!), so we just bit the bullet and bought a new one on Sunday, progressive scan even! :-)

AND THE YANKEES LOST THE WORLD SERIES!! ROTFL!!! Best part of the whole weekend, I think.

The only other exciting things I can think of worth mentioning at the moment is a glut of great films coming out soon. Brother Bear on Saturday, Finding Nemo on Tuesday (ours is already pre-ordered from Disney, so we might get it on Monday), and Matrix Revolutions on Wednesday (which we probably won't see until Friday, at the earliest; probably more like Sunday). Thank goodness! We've been in a bit of a dry spell lately. I'm surprised AMC hasn't sent out a search party or something. LOL

Friday, October 24, 2003

Today is DH's big day!

As I type this, DH is sitting in a room near the Atlanta Civic Center taking the Structural Professional Engineering exam. For those unfamiliar with the test, it is the engineering equivalent of the BAR exam for lawyers. He needs this certification to be able to sign off on his own designs. He'll get an official little stamp and everything! He has currently been testing for, oh, 3 hours. One hour left in the morning session, then an hour break for lunch, then another 4 hour session this afternoon. He's been rather nervous for the past few days, but I managed to not get nervous until last night or so. I'm not really worried about him passing; he is truly one of *the* smartest people I know (and that's not just a biased wife talking), and he's great at his job. I'm just worried for him since I know he was so worried about it (clear as mud? LOL). Six more hours and it will all be over. Then we just have to wait 8-12 weeks for the results. :-\ Thank goodness PE certification isn't needed for us Industrial Engineers! I don't think I could take it.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

The format doesn't matter!

I have noticed something rather interesting with the movie ad posters for Disney's Brother Bear. They look rendered. (By rendered, I mean that they look like stereotypical computer generated (CG) images, not like "hand drawn" images.) Why is this interesting? Because Brother Bear is a "hand drawn" film, not CG! Why make your adds look like it is CG? Simple. Hollywood is convinced that "hand drawn" animation is dead. That is such a rediculous statement. It's like saying that an essay is better when typed than it is handwritten, or that a novel is better in hardback than paperback (I'm talking about the story here, not the reading experience). It doesn't matter if a film is 2D or 3D! If the story stinks, it won't do well. Why, then, have Pixar films done better over the last few years than traditionally animated Disney films? NOT because they're CG rendered, but because they had better stories! Come on, people, get with the program. And besides all this, are people going to feel cheated if, based on the posters, they go to see Brother Bear expecting CG and get "hand drawn"? It's certainly possible.

BTW, for everyone wondering why I keep putting "hand drawn" in quotes, it's because no films are made any longer with actual ink being applied to cells. The last film to use that technique was The Little Mermaid. Every Disney animated film since then, "hand drawn" or not, was done in the computer. Granted, they were still drawn with hands, but either the sketches were then scanned and "painted" in the computer, or they were sketched on electronic pads which transferred them directly to the computer. Either way, the days of draftspeople sitting at desks with ink and paint are over. So, if someone tries to cell (oops, Freudian there; I mean sell) you an "original hand inked production cell" from, say, The Lion King, it's a fake! There have been hand inked cells released in honor of several films since then, but none were actually used in production. Your trivia for today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Do DH and I look mean or something?

I've always thought we were rather pleasant and agreeable looking people. See for yourself! (BTW, I've lost 43 pounds since this picture was taken. Bleck! I think we need to get some new ones made.) Anyway, that's not really the point. In the last week, DH and I have had a problem with our food at two different restaurants. Now, we are not the type of people who pitch a fit about things. At one place, the steak came a little too rare (which is difficult, since I order them medium-rare-plus in the first place). I just asked the waitress, "Do you think this could be put back on the grill for another minute or too? It's just a little underdone." She apologized profusely, had it redone, and then had the manager bring it back out to see if it was cooked correctly the second time (it was). Every time either of them passed us for the rest of the evening, they commented on how sorry they were. Really, it's no big deal! A similar thing happened with our appetizers the other night. She took our order, and we got potato skins. They did take long enough that we had commented to eachother that they must be waiting for the potatoes to grow, but we never said anything. When she brought them out, she apologized for them taking so long. She also had further bad news: they were out of the entree DH had ordered. ::shrug:: No biggie, he just ordered something else. She practically grovelled while apologizing, and then the manager came out, apologizing again, and had the appetizers taken off our ticket. Fine with me! I'm not going to argue with free food! But it really wasn't necessary, really.

Now if they had not seemed to care or had said "tough stuff" or something, that would be different, but they didn't. We didn't yell, we didn't look angry, we even joked with them about the problems and/ or errors, and everytime they apologized, we both said "no problem" or "it's really no big deal" or something similar. It just makes me wonder how often people really do raise a big stink if something is wrong that the servers and managers feel the need to prostrate themselves before us. How sad for them.

Monday, October 20, 2003

On weekends, I take a break.

And that means from *everything,* including the computer. Thus, you will probably have noticed a pattern of me not blogging on the weekends. I promise, if something interesting enough happens between 5 pm on Friday and 9 am on Monday, I'll log on and let you know, but generally speaking, you won't find me near a computer, much less my blog. And unfortunately, work just slammed me today so I've had no chance to blog before now. Probably not a bad thing, since I really have nothing interesting to say right now. The only news I have now is stitching related: I finished beading my strawberry, plus fully beaded the acorn pattern I have. Now to actually make them look like berries and acorns will be a little more complex. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

15 minutes of fame, every week

DH and I go grocery shopping once a week, on Tuesdays. We have the same routine every week: leave work, drive home, eat dinner at Longhorn while making the grocery list, then grocery shopping. We've been doing this for, oh, 2-3 years now, I guess. Usually, we sit at a booth somewhere out of the way. We don't have a regular table or anything. This time, though, we were running a little late, so we were at a table near the entrance to "the back." No problem, I'm not picky about where we sit. But being there did make me keenly aware of something: we are rather well known at the restaurant. We had three different servers and the manager stop by to just to say "hi, how are you?" or "good to see you." They certainly know us on sight. One good thing I can say for it is that we rarely have bad service. Perhaps they just really like us? Nope. We just tip well. LOL

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Dream a little dream....

Actually, I'd settle for a little dream. I've been having too many big ones lately, and they are not leaving me very rested. It's rather irksome, actually, to have been asleep for 3-4 hours and then wake up more tired than when I originally went to sleep. Thankfully, I can go back to sleep rather quickly, and the next set of 3-4 hours is usually quite restful, but 3-4 hours of good sleep is not enough to survive on. Well, not for now anyway. I think I won't have much choice after children arrive.

Maybe my dreams are trying to make up for some of my current boredom. Nothing really interests me at the moment. Stitching was going pretty well until I ran out of beads (replacements have not arrived yet), but none of my other projects are speaking to me. None of my books currently strike my fancy, though I am "making" myself read a chapter or two every few nights. Work is boring, which is actually a good thing. (It will be hectic soon enough with end of year type things.) Even movies are only mildly interesting, and that's scary. Maybe it's because there's nothing much out at the moment. Who knows?! And what's worse is that I'm boring all of you with this. :-\ I'll snap out of it soon; I always do. In the mean time, I'll try to find something to enjoy.

I have an excellent view of Piedmont Park from my cube window, and the trees should all start changing colors soon. It is glorious to watch. See? Feeling a little better already.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Hey, I'm stitching!

I have been in a major stitching slump for, oh, about 18 months now. No, really, I'm serious. I got on a really big reading kick, and stitching just didn't interest me. I've actually been stitching for over a week straight, ignoring my books completely (even the new Diana Gabaldon!). I *should* be working on my ornaments for the exchange, but I'm not. I started a new project I picked up at CATS Hershey: a beaded strawberry scissor fob. It's all Heather's fault! I wouldn't have even seen them if she hadn't pointed them out. I'll have to get her back for that somehow, maybe when we go to a retreat in Myrtle Beach in February. Hmmm.....

Anyway, I can't believe how lovely the strawberry is turning out. It really is wonderful. I've done the entire front side and half of the back side. Unfortunately, I ran out of one color of beads, so I have to order more. They gave me two of one pack that I didn't even use all of, and only one of this color, which is all gone. How frustrating! Since I only got half-way done, I was still in a stitching mood, so I tried my hand at the fancy top. It is a peyote stitched set of leaves. I've never done any kind of bead weaving (putting beads on cloth like the berry part doesn't count), so I was a little nervous. But the directions were exceptionally clear, and I am quite good at following directions. Amazingly enough, it turned out *exactly* like it was supposed to! I couldn't believe it! I don't know why it should be surprising that I followed the directings and it turned out right, but I am. I guess it's because this was my first ever attempt. Cool! Might have to do more of that type of thing (Annette and Heather will be thrilled, the KFC will not be happy). LOL

Monday, October 13, 2003

And the record falls!

Yes folks, the previous record of 5 theater viewings for a film (held by Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) has fallen. Please help me crown the new leader with 6 theater viewings - Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl! I can't think of a film that deserves it more. And only 7 weeks until the DVD is out. Yay!

Friday, October 10, 2003

Feeling rather unfocused

As the eye doctor says, "which is better, one or two?" Um, neither? I wanna go home! Just sit there and veg. I just don't feel very "with it" today. I can't concentrate on anything, especially work. Thankfully, it is an incredibly slow day, and I have nothing due in the near to immediate future. I'm just bouncing off the walls, like I've had a Coke or something (the soda kind, you sillies). Trust me, I haven't! Anything besides water and orange juice are big no-nos, due to my kidney stone problem. A Coke sure does sound good, though....

I also have no weekend plans. DH will be burried in his studies for the Professional Engineering (PE) exam, which is in two weeks. Wow, that test seemed so far away when we got married 5 years ago, and here it is, right on top of us! For those who don't know about the PE, it is the test you have to pass to be a certified professional engineer. It's like the Bar exam for lawyers. Once he is certified, he will be able to sign off on his own bridge designs, without having to have another PE review and sign them for him. (That's not to say that the designs won't be reviewed! Of course they will, but they will have his name on them, not his supervisor's name.) Also means a slight pay raise and a bonus. Gotta love that!

So, while he's doing all that studying, I'll probably be stitching. Didn't do any last night, but I did do some charting for my ornaments for the exchange I will be participating in. I think November 8 is the deadline to have them done. Must get hopping!

Thursday, October 09, 2003

All about the kitties....

Okay, let's try this again, shall we? Lesson learned: type blog posts elsewhere, then copy and paste. That way if it does glitch, I still have my post.

Thanks to Jennie for letting me borrow her "Cast of Characters" idea. I thought it was a great way to briefly explain to those reading my blog who the main people I talk about lots are. Keep it at the top, so it's always there, near what you're reading.

Now, since I didn't really post yesterday, I'll make up for it today. I'm going to be brave and let y'all see just a little bit of exactly how kooky I can be. I normally keep that side of me hidden from casual observers so they don't think I'm totally off my rocker. But, since this is a place for me to babble, I don't think I'll be able to be on here day in and day out without the occasional reference to the KFC (see left). KFC = Kitty Financial Committee. The members and their respective titles are listed, as well as their Dragon Ninja ranks (we'll get to that in a sec).

How did the KFC come to be? Well, DH and I are DINK: double income, no kids. We enjoy having money and spending money (we also save quite a bit). One day, after a fairly large spending spree (probably at Best Buy, whom we single-handedly keep in business), I commented that the kitties were going to be upset that we were spending so much money on us and not them. DH made some comment along the lines of "they'll probably shut off access to the bank account," And thus, the Kitty Financial Committee was born. We now have monthly KFC reports (check/bill reconciliation, spending tracking), as well as a Special Funding Proposal Sheet (budget planning sheet for large items or trips). It's just a way to keep finances fun. BTW, that is not Bengal's full title; his actual title is exceptionally long, and I don't have it here in front of me. I'll try to remember to post it tomorrow for your reference. Aren't you excited? Bites, in case you were wondering, means food. And if you were really curious, Cleo's title comes from a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode. Extra points if you know which one!

As for Dragon Ninjas, well, I have to go back to my mother-in-law and her dog. See, Nappy (yes, her registered cocker spaniel is named Nappy) has the habit of doing the typical animal "jump up and growl/bark at nothing" thing, and MIL decided that he was really protecting the house from elephants. "You don't see any around here, now do you? He must be doing his job!" Well, after we got Shadow and she started doing the same thing (jump up and race off into another room for no reason, as cats tend to do), we figured she couldn't be after elephants. Nappy had that market covered. Must be dragons! Thus, Shadow became a Dragon Ninja. When we got Bengal and Tigger as kittens (they were 6 weeks old, Shadow was about 9 months), they were too young/small to be full fledged Dragon Ninjas. Apprentice levels must have some other name, so DH came up with Flying Japanese Sand Tigers (don't ask, I haven't the faintest clue where it came from). When Cleo joined us a year ago, she was, shall we say, not on friendly terms with "The Big Three," so she has not been accepted into the novice level of Dragon Ninja training (read: we haven't come up with a good name yet; I'm open to suggestions!). She is significantly better now, thus she was accepted as a member of the KFC on her one year anniversary (I saw that particular episode of ST:TNG and died laughing when I heard that title; it just fits her so well), but she'll have to catch herself a dragon or two before she gets to join the DN ranks.

Did I mention they also have "Indian Names"? I hope no one is offended by that. I'm not trying to be flippant. I have always thought it was an intriguing idea to be named for a characteristic or great deed, the way Native Americans (and I'm sure other cultures) do. Bengal is a BIG kitty; 15 pounds and not overweight at all. Just huge! He is also our only long haired kitty, so his tail is rather puffy, and he walks around with it sticking straight up. So, Steve started referring to him as "Great Big Fluffy Tail," and one night when he said it, he looked at me and commented "that sounds like an Indian name." So now they *all* have to have Indian names (in addition to the dozen or so other nicknames we have for them). Tigger is "Dances With Milk Rings," Cleo is "Hisses At Thin Air," and Shadow's (which we admit is not very good, but we haven't come up with anything better) is "Wall Spirit Shaman." (She will just stare at the walls and/or ceiling for several minutes at a time, so we decided she must be communing with the wall (or ceiling) spirits.)

Okay, now that you all think we are totally nuts (we're really not) and obsessed with our cats (well, maybe a little; they are essentially our kids), I think I'll go now. Shadow says that the wall spirits are demanding sacrifices to their feline representatives, preferably in the form of the chicken DH and I are having for dinner.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Well shoot!

I had a whole post typed, but I took a call and my screen saver kicked in, and now it's gone. GRRR!!! I'll work on it again later. Until then, you'll just have to wonder about the KFC, Dragon Ninjas, and how they came to be.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

If they don't win, it's a shame.....

And they didn't. What a shame. ::sigh:: Another year of watching my Atlanta Braves make it to the playoffs; another year of watching them choke. (Yes, I realize that happened Sunday, not yesterday, but I'm just now coming to terms with my grief. :-p) I gotta admit, it's getting pretty old. Our problem in past series was that "hitting beats pitching in a short series." We always had the pitching, just no hitting to back it up. This year, *finally* we have the bats going, and we still lose! What's up with that? Probably the fact that even with all that offense, we couldn't score. Plenty of chances, as usual. We could get them on, sometimes we could get them over, but we just couldn't get them in. Bummer.

So, GO SOX! See, DH and I discovered this amazing talent last year. In August 2002, we made our first ever trip to California. While we were there, we naturally hit Disneyland, but we also caught an Angels game in Anaheim. And what happened? They won the series. This year, we visited Boston for our 5th wedding anniversary (July 4th). Well, being the baseball fans that we are, there was NO way we were going to Boston and not visit Fenway! So we did. It was an interleague game, so we had to watch the Marlins play (bleck!), but it was still fun (and HOT). And what happens? The Red Sox make the playoffs. If they win the whole shebang, we're going to hire ourselves out to American League teams. "Have us visit your park; win the World Series!" I could handle that line of work. :-)

Monday, October 06, 2003

MUFASA! Oooooo! Do it again.

Sorry, I couldn't resist. Yes, I did indeed receive my copy of "The Lion King" on DVD today. How, you ask, did I get it on Monday, when it won't be released until Tuesday? Simple; I ordered directly from Disney! Why am I up this late with nothing more interesting to talk about than this? Because I simply can't sleep. So you get to listen to (read?) me babble. Aren't you thrilled?

And it occurred to me, while laying in bed wide awake, that I had left a major interest/hobby off of my "about me" post down there. I'm a Disney Fanatic! I love Disney, I love most anything Disney; I could eat, sleep and breathe Disney. I've even looked into working there, many times. They employ lots of IEs! But they'd make me wear a skirt to work, so that's out. LOL! But I could ride the Rockin' Roller Coaster every single day. Hmmm..... might have to rethink that.

Anyway, I can't really say that I have a favorite Disney movie. It all depends on my mood. But, here are my top 3 fave cartoons, in no particular order: Sleeping Beauty, The Emperor's New Groove, Toy Story. Favorite "good guy": Winnie the Pooh; Favorite Villain: Maleficent! And I think I'm addicted to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Love, love, LOVE that movie! I've seen it 5 times in the theater, which (for those of you I know are wondering) is a tie for "film seen most times in the theater" with Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Still working on DH to help me break that tie. He loves the movie, too, so it may yet work. And the DVD comes out December 2! Yipee! I'm truly counting the days already. And, to tide me over, Brother Bear comes out November 1. It looks like it is going to be great. Which reminds me, I haven't updated my Movie Musings site with the most recent newsletter yet. Hey, I may yet get something useful accomplished tonight. Maybe then I'll be able to sleep.....

Hey, we have the title function working!

Nifty! I'm just embarrassed it took me so long to find the blasted thing. But, it's workin' now. ::pats self on back:: Hmm.... now to fix the font sizes and stuff. Give me time, I'll get it all formated like I want it. In the mean time, I'm supposed to be working! Back to the grindstone.

My first "real" blog entry.....

Time for a real Blog entry, don't you think? Let's start with the basics: who am I and why the heck do I have this on the web.

My name is Erin. I'm a 27 year old industrial engineer who works for a large telecommunications company. I am married (5 years) to the most wonderful DH, and we are house staff to four cats (started out with two, and it just kinda grew). We hope to start trying for our first child very soon. I cross stitch, I read (mainly mystery and fantasy, but I'll read most anything that interests me), and I *love* movies! I even write my own reviews (see "Erin's Movie Musings" link at left). And, in case you couldn't tell, I like parenthetical comments. They keep the written words as close to my actual thought processes as possible (very scary), and very similar to my speech patterns. Just another way for you to "get to know me."

I'm mainly blogging as a way to force myself to keep some kind of journal. I've never been very good with the paper kind, but being a graduate of Georgia Tech, I'm a bit of a geek, so the electronic version appealed to me. I'll be talking mainly about stitching, books, movies, family plans, and anything else I feel like pontificating on at the time. Just a place for me to babble. I hope you enjoy!

Still tinkering

Hmmm.... having trouble changing the title up there. Let's try again, shall we?

Ah-ha! It worked. Please forgive me. I'll be tinkering with this on and off for a while, especially the colors. I'll get a brief bio on here later.

Friday, October 03, 2003


Holding up my end of the bargain! Here's my blog. Not sure how much will be there for now, or how often, but "I'll be back." LOL