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