Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Music is My Hot, Hot Sex

Do you ever hear a song on the radio and instantly love it? Not just steering wheel tap enjoyment, but turn the volume up to 25 and seat dance using the full expanse of space between steering wheel and lumbar support?


Well I do. Kind of often. And then I have to race to my destination and Google the snippet of lyric I remember and/or go to the radio station website's now playing list to get the band name, then go to their Myspace page to see if I really did love it, and if any other songs are equally compelling. Depending upon that decision, I either buy the song or album and thus, another song joins my favorite list.


Today I heard "People C'mon" by Delta Spirit and LOVED IT.


Youtube has this live performance which doesn't even need to be turned up to 25 to achieve rocking.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN_OFYIfM94


Delta Spirit is playing the Gravity Lounge in Charlottesville on February 23. Are you with me???


Tell all your single friends, Delta Spirit is also playing Portland, Texas, and Boston (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE)

XO, JamieSmitten

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Boom and I send our best wishes for happiness, health, peace, and super-sized treats for all your days.





Happy Holidays!


Tell all your single friends, MC and HNY!


XO, JamieSmitten

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm That Kind of Girl

The kind who would rather read than vacuum. Thankfully, I'm also not one of those people who have to finish chores before they sit down with a cuppa and good book. I'm one of those people who has a folder in her gmail called Books2Read that is full of emails I send myself with books I want to read that I read about somewhere.

When my borderline high cholesterol finally takes me out, it will be with book in hand and dog hair all around.

I'm just saying.

Tell all your single friends, you've GOT to read this*!


XO, JamieSmitten



*The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff, the Jackson Brodie series by Kate Atkinson (start with Case Histories and call me for the next 2), Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich (laugh out loud funny).....oh don't get me started!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Kanab Day 2: Happy Birthday to Me!

What could possibly get me to set an alarm and get up at 7 a.m. on my birthday?

PUPPY SOCIALIZATION CLASS!

I KNOW!

So my birthday morning dawned bright and warm. Pretty darn warm. Kanab is high desert climate, so nights are cold, but days are sunny and bright. Really bright. This is what the sky looked like every day:

After modeling my fabulous angora scarf lovingly created by Wombat and then scarfing (Ha!) down coffee and doughnut from the lobby, we drove straight to the Dog Town Clinic for puppy socialization class. We were early (still planning for traffic!) and got to see a charming dog earn a lot of treats for being so darn sweet when asking for them:


The soft touch with the treat pouch was our puppy socialization leader Don. He led about ten of us volunteers back to the puppy area after explaining the puppy socialization program. Often, adopted puppies are returned just for being puppies -- curious, unpredictable, and wild. The primary goal of puppy socialization class is to accustom the puppies to being touched, handled, and surrounded by humans. Desensitization to people and their surroundings (umbrellas, loud noises, sudden movements) makes for a well-adjusted pet. Since Best Friends instituted the program, only one puppy has been returned by an adopter.

Suddenly, puppies are being handed out the door and I get to carry one up to the play area. There were four puppies -- survivors of parvo -- named Potter, Berks, Bedford, and Erie. We worked on name recognition, leash walking, and touching. The puppies were clearly precocious veterans of the class at 18 weeks and enjoyed all the attention. I was too busy hugging, but Wombat came through with some great pictures. There just can't be enough puppy love for me:


Don't tell Boom, but there was kissing.


After puppies, we were sent to another set of dog octagons for more walking and socializing. The different puppies were just as lovely as those from the first day. Including Chance who had one up and one down ear, making for a spectacular shadow:


Thoroughly blissed out on puppies and dogs by noon break, we headed over for our second round of $4 vegetarian buffet delight. I believe this was yummy vegetarian pot pie day. We had some time to kill before we visited the horrifying scary bunny sanctuary, so we drove back over to the welcome center to shop at the Best Friends store. Despite a marked lack of magnets and pins (hint to marketing dept!), we managed to drop some coin. These bumper stickers make GREAT gifts:


Then it was back to the bunny haven for the 1 p.m. tour. Except we had our time wrong and the tour wasn't until 2. As fate would have it, Wombat looked sad enough that the caretaker took pity on her and gave us a private tour of the area. Way many rabbits and some freaky looking hamsters too. Or maybe guinea pigs. Honestly, I didn't look too closely. My goal was to get out alive. They actually put us in a big enclosure with loose rabbits. I KNOW! So not right. Despite the sign saying "Warning! Rosemary will bite!" and the caretaker admitting that the rabbits go totally homicidal if you have more than 2 in a pen, Wombat was happy as a clam. She took some excellent pictures of the little death-dealers furry critters:


Having survived THAT ordeal, we left Best Friends and headed out for some sightseeing. The Kane County tourist guide had mentioned a few must see attractions and we found the first one on the road between Best Friends and Kanab. Moqui Cave is one of those roadside attractions that you always want to stop at as a kid, but your parents keep driving. A cave built into a mountain right off the highway? Count me in! The current proprietor is the grandson of the man who bought the cave in the 1950s and turned it first into a bar and then a dancehall. The place was quite successful for many years, but after the bar fights became a regular occurrence, the cave was converted into a tourist attraction.


So how do you get people to pay $4 to see a hole in the wall? GLOW IN THE DARK ROCKS! Yep, that's the clincher. The front part of the cave is a mini museum where the bar used to be. The back part of the cave was cool and sloped downward a bit. As we got further in, the eerie glow of black lights bathed us in an unholy light. Us and a bazillion rocks. I'm scanning a postcard image because it was just too darn odd. Apparently, some rocks light up when you hit them with black light. Kids, I'm pretty sure you can try that at home. Let me know how it works out for you.



On to the gift shop where we bought lots of postcards to commemorate the weirdness of the attraction and found the perfect souvenirs in a sale bowl at the checkout. Now I'm not sure how many of you are aware that Utah is the Beehive state. Wombat wasn't aware, which I discovered as I commented on how much I liked the state highway signs with the beehives.




Wombat said, "Oh, I thought that was a ski cap." Which, without knowing the Beehive state tie-in, was a pretty good guess. So she bought me a beehive charm and I bought her a cow bell charm. Because she likes cows and because I had just received the last beehive charm. Thanks, Wombat!

Having seen all that Moqui Cave had to offer, we headed north again to take a look at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. A bumpy trip along a road through nowhere and one left turn later, the canyon opened up and we saw several ATV caravans heading towards some pink-ish hills. We found a place to park the car and hiked straight up a sandy dune to see more sandy dunes.



I'm not sure I would call them coral pink, seemed more like brownish tan to me. But darn pretty, all those ripples.



Perfect for some artistic photography. Beware the three-legged tourist!:


The plants were very nice too.




I don't know what kind they are, so don't ask. I DO know that if you want to see the Tiger Beetle, a species found ONLY at Pink Coral Sand Dunes state park, you have to look for their tracks at a specific time of the year:


And don't bother naming your band The Interdunal Swales either. Wombat and I have dibs on that most excellent name.

Despite a fetching ranger with no wedding ring, we decided to return to civilization and prepare for our fancy dinner. A few cows slowed our momentum and got the paparazzi treatment. They didn't seem too concerned.





After a shower and a fresh set of non-doggified clothes, we drove the 1/4 mile from motel to our dining destination, the Rocking V Cafe. If you happen to pass through Kanab when the Rocking V is open, I highly recommend it. Excellent food, charming host, and an art gallery upstairs. We encountered some other Best Friends volunteers (clearly, we all have good taste) and immediately set to determining which drink would suit us best.

Speaking of drinking, we had no problems getting drinks in the restaurants we visited and we did see the liquor store. However, there were no bars. There was a "lounge" in the little town of Fredonia just south of Kanab, but it didn't look promising.

Margaritas! Was that even up for discussion? Although I did move on to beer for my next trick. Have to try those local brews when you can. Dinner was lovely. I had the spicy polenta cakes and Wombat went with the deep dish veggie enchilada. Filling and flavorful. But always room for whiskey bread pudding, eh? Yum.

Having managed to outlast the other patrons (this town goes to bed early, even on a Saturday night), we took a tour of the art gallery upstairs and I managed to impulse shop my way into a lovely picture -- a digitally enhanced photo called "Time Stands Still" -- by Chris Brock. It seemed an appropriate purchase on my birthday and I would have resisted had it not been revealed that the picture was taken in Ireland. (For those of you not in my immediate vicinity, Ireland is my 2009 trip!). So, with all credit and copyright to Chris Brock, the soon to be appearing on my living room wall:




We headed back to the motel and stayed up late talking and figuring out how the world should be and then went to bed. Wombat will say that I fell asleep while she was talking. This is not true. I was resting my eyes while contemplating her deep, deep conversation.


It is like somebody designed my perfect day. [Well, my perfect day without sex.]


Tell all your single friends, spend YOUR birthday in a special place!



XO, JamieSmitten

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How I Came to Cop a Feel (during a work event)

[Of course, now that I've typed the post title, I realize this is NOT my first unplanned work touch. I completely forgot about the incident at the Salvation Army volunteer event when I reached for a bike and encountered my co-worker's crotch. Good times.]

So today was the Q4 team-building event. Yes, I realize that my workplace seems like Disneyland to those of you who work for more traditionally structured companies. Do you begrudge me one 1/2 day of fun per quarter when I spend an hour a month in therapy trying to keep my sanity intact despite being surrounded by ruthless self-promoters? I didn't think so.

Today was lunch at Maggiano's and bowling. I dislike chain restaurants and the amount of food consumed and wasted at Maggiano's is staggering. The tiramisu is pretty good though.

So, we finish our suburban munchfest and head to the bowling alley and grab lanes by pre-assigned team. Having won the Best Team Name contest (yes, EVERYTHING is a contest at my company) with the plucked-from-Google "I Can't Believe It's Not Gutter," our team quickly set to proving our name appropriate. But hey, it's just for fun right?

After the first game of "traditional" bowling -- for which I won the prize for worst score -- HooBoy! -- we moved to the second game where each frame required a different bowling style: granny, eyes closed, seated, backwards, skipping, etc. And that's where the fun began.

One of the frames was "bowl between someone's legs." Yep, didn't think that was coming, did you? We selected our tallest team member and he graciously assumed a wide legged stance at the top of the lane. [I'll digress here to mention that this co-worker is hot. Tall, muscular thighs that would make you think he played hockey, dark, handsome. Tasty. Married.]

I start my approach, trying not to focus on the firm and high buttocks in front of me. I go low and aim straight down the line, releasing the ball softly. Then I follow through. With my hand. Right into his thigh. A gentle graze, fortunately.

His only comment? "Well I didn't expect that." Me neither. Please, sir, may I have another? Sadly, he did not return the favor when he bowled between my legs.

Tell all your single friends, bowling is not sexy.


XO, JamieSmitten

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I Always Read My Reviews

Did I mention that I got involved in Shuffleathon 2008 madness? For those of you who don't remember last year's debacle, a charming Brit blogger named SwissToni (the monkey is in the tree!) randomly matches up strangers to exchange cds in round robin fashion and review them. I give to Lisa Rullsenberg, I receive from ?????

I was determined to not work myself into a dither this year as I did last time. A stroll through Lisa's blog told me that I'd best stay away from UK bands as she has those pretty well covered. Clearly a woman of taste (her Blogger profile pic is Willow!), I started from a Buffy place and added happy songs until I found a dozen.

Here's the track listing for those dying of suspense:

1. 100 Yard Dash by Raphael Saddiq (Bet you've never heard it!)
2. The Good Life by Cracker (Cracker goes on every Smitten CD)
3. Sorry by Nerf Herder (Buffy connection!)
4. Banditos by The Refreshments (Jean-Luc Picard reference? O.K.!)
5. Everything's Cool by Lit (Seemed to go well with preceding)
6. Fighter Girl by Mason Jennings (Something new after all that old)
7. 27th Ave Shuffle by Foxboro Hot Tubs (I LIKE Green Day)
8. Story of My Life by Social Distortion (I love that wee little nasal singer Mike Ness!)
9. Living Well Is the Best Revenge by R.E.M. (True dat)
10. Do Ya by Matthew Sweet (Sweet, literally)
11. The Stoop by Little Jackie (New and fun)
12. A Change Is Gonna Come by Seal (YES WE DID, Virginia!)


But you don't want to hear me talk about it, read Lisa's review. A success, if I do so anoint myself.


Now I just have to wait for my disc of aural pleasure to arrive!


Tell all your single friends, share your music!


XO, JamieSmitten

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Happy Birthday DFF!




Determined Friend Forever is having a birthday today! She will likely celebrate with pale ale and some Hannah Montana rockin' tunes.


And some Oh Jamie! bars, but shhhhh! That's a surprise!


Tell all your single friends, blow 'em if you've got 'em! (Birthday candles, silly!)




XO, JamieSmitten

Would I Miss the Big City Sights?

If I did move to Kanab, I probably would not get to witness the sight that Boom and I were treated to during our morning walk. Bit of a morning limp thanks to Boot Camp and 27 degree weather stiffening up my knee, but we were still moving at a good clip as the winter sun was out and the nip in the air was making Boom feel frisky.



Across the street, there was a neighborhood ne'er-do-well standing on the sidewalk staring off into the distance. Not unusual, always lots of people standing around contemplating around here. When suddenly his slight swaying stopped and I saw it. The sunlight on the stream of urine made a sparkle-y arc falling on the frosted grass.



He didn't even pee that long, so I'm pretty sure he could have staggered back home. Guess he was enjoying the sunshine as well.









Tell all your single friends, you say "transitional neighborhood" like it's a bad investment.







XO, JamieSmitten

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Kanab, Utah! The Greatest Earth on Show!

No, I'm not that punny -- Kanab is:


If you ever go to Kanab, stay at Quail Park Lodge. From our frazzled 10 p.m. arrival when we couldn't get the key to open the door (solution: turn it) to the friendly chat in the morning when I retrieved coffee and doughnuts from the office, our stay was great. Big fluffy comforters, super fancy robes, and the ability to have pet sleepovers from Best Friends (if you don't stay in our deluxe-newly-renovated-suite). Loved it. I totally forgot to take a picture, but it was as cute as the website looks.


We slept like logs Thursday night -- hardly surprising -- but managed to get up when the evil alarm went off because PUPPIES WERE WAITING! We had to be at Best Friends at 8:30 a.m. for the video before the tour before the volunteering and there was no way I was going to be late. So I allowed for traffic. In the 7 miles between our motel and the turn-off from route 89. We passed one car. Score one for the small town.


Of course it was a good thing we had time because I could hardly drive for looking at the breathtaking -- and I don't bandy that word around, people -- scenery that we had totally missed during our night time arrival. Judge for yourself:



I KNOW. Flipping MAJESTIC. And I usually only say that about HRH Queen Elizabeth. We were still oohing and aahing three days later as we left that beautiful place. I've been out west before and I've even been camping in Zion National Park (about 40 miles away), but Kanab is just smack in the middle of major rock loveliness. Go ahead, have another:



But we weren't there for scenery, we were there for the animals. And boy, did they deliver. For those of you who are link-phobic and have thus avoided all the chances to go read the Best Friends website instead of my random thoughts, Best Friends Animal Society is a place unlike any other. Twenty-four years ago, some animal-loving friends bought land in Angel Canyon and formed an animal sanctuary from which no animal would ever be turned away. Kindness to animals builds a better world for all of us. Believe it. From their No More Homeless Pets campaign to disaster animal rescue to education and support, they help rescue groups and animals all over the world. Good stuff.


We began with a guided tour of the sanctuary. Large vans with bench seats. Wombat and I grabbed the way, way back, because we were in fact the coolest kids on the bus. The ladies in front of us were from Virginia, of course. We are everywhere. The ride was really bumpy but most excellent for pointing out interesting scenery and the inner workings of the various different animal areas. First animal stop with touching was the home for cats with feline leukemia. The house itself is part cat fantasy land and part tribute to a longtime donor whose husband built the house after his wife died without fulfilling her dream to live near Best Friends and volunteer with the cats every day. The cats were enjoying the sunshine and the love and attention from their personal caregiver. Wombat caught me petting one little sweetie. Don't tell Boom:



We drove past Feathered Friends -- thank goodness, no need to see any birds, thank you very much -- and past the wild turkeys that were mooching scattered feed around the buildings. Then we head to Dogtown Heights and got to see how they manage to keep so many dogs healthy and happy. All the dogs had indoor rooms with beds and blankets and then full outdoor play areas that were almost as big as my backyard. Some dogs had buddies, others were on their own. All of them were eager to see who had pulled up in the van. The dog caregivers were by and large a truly friendly and happy group of people who were quick to share stories about their animals charges. We couldn't wait to get started volunteering!

Back to the front desk for paperwork and name tags and then off to the cafeteria for a splendid $4 vegetarian buffet. Yum. A little windy that first day, but a view to die for:


Full of healthy vegetables, grains, and fruit, Wombat and I headed over to the Clinic for our next volunteer orientation. We watched a short film about dog handling (don't hug the dogs? we'll see about that) and a possible sighting of John Garcia, hottie animal trainer from the National Geographic show Dogtown, and we were sent off with a map to our first destination: The Fairway.

Each Dogtown Heights area has two octagons of dogs, two caregivers, and about 40-45 dogs. I don't know if they lost a lot of volunteers in the past, but when they send you out dogwalking now, you are pointed to the path for your building. The paths are red sandy and outlined in rocks and meander up and down and around, with a bench in the middle for a water break and a cuddle. We broke the no-hug rule with the first set of dogs. I also discovered that these dogs have not developed Boom's patience with extended picture-taking, so I got a lot of backs of heads. Still cute:






Some of the dogs walked beautifully on their leashes. Others were a little more stubborn. One particular hound dog named Yankee was in a class all by himself. While we were walking the path, a large mule deer buck (is that redundant?) crashed through the brush several yards away. Yankee sat down and howled, clearly heeding his ancestry. He would not move for love, money, or treats. He didn't even drag. So Wombat carried him back to his room. I wish I had taken a picture, because it was a sight: Yankee's sense of outrage and Wombat's determination to get that dog home. Wombat did get a picture of him doing his best sit and howl:


More dogs, more cuddling. It was so relaxing and so wonderful and so clearly, how life was meant to be. I quickly fell in love with Dozer. Rescued from a pitbull breeding operation, Dozer had clearly been abused. Now, he just wants to lie next to you and get all the petting he can. I hope a special somebody takes him home soon:




Wombat was busy falling in love with Ripple, a young chesapeake bay retriever with a dislocated hip. Ripple is getting hydrotherapy and will have surgery on his hip as soon as his muscles have strengthened. He still gets to go on puppy sleepovers, so he's a happy camper:




5 p.m. came way too soon and we were sent away for the evening. We went back to the motel and shook off about a pound of red dust and got back in the car for a quick reconnoiter of Kanab (pop. not very many). We did find the Ideabox, but it was disappointing in person. We know exactly how disappointing as the back sliding door was open, so we got to fully inspect the place. Famished, we made our way to Nedra's Too. I'd read about it on the internet and it did not disappoint.


If you ever happen to eat at Nedra's Too, I can recommend the Navajo Taco (taco filling on Indian fry bread), the quesadilla, and the fried ice cream. All good. Wash it down with a Squatter's Chasing Tail golden ale. All the better to enjoy the 1/2 movie memorabilia 1/2 NASCAR decorations.




After a quick stop for breakfast items at the gas station quick mart, we headed back to the motel and were asleep under our fluffy comforters without much delay. Day 1 was a complete success.


Tell all your single friends, you really should have been there.



XO, JamieSmitten

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!



Tell all your single friends, be thankful for all your blessings -- family, friends, and meatless Turk'y Roast!

XO, JamieSmitten

Monday, November 24, 2008

I SWEAR


I am going to finish my vacation posts and transfer the pictures from my camera to show I didn't make any of it up. But not tonight.


Because I am positively tubercular. You do NOT want to know the viscosity of what I just coughed up. I know the viscosity because the violence of the eruption made me miss the kleenex and land the chunk on my shirt.


I googled sanatoriums and was disturbed to find that they have all been closed. You may find me in bed on the front porch tomorrow bundled up to take the fresh air cure.


Tell all your single friends, colds can last six days!



XO, JamieSmitten

He Should Be Shot

Still basking in the glow of the wonderful animals at Best Friends, I stumbled upon a dark reminder of how cruel people can be to animals:

UPDATE - New Report Released On Vick Dogfighting
Posted: Nov 21, 2008
5:23 PM EST

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A just released report from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture details the extent of former NFL quarterback Michael Vick's
involvement in dog fighting. The report says Vick sometimes put a
family pet in a ring with pit bulls just for fun. A confidential informant told
the government it happened at least twice, and that they watched as the pit
bulls "caused major injuries." The report also says Vick denied taking
part in the killing of dogs when he was given a polygraph test by the FBI in
October 2007. When told he'd failed that part of the test, Vick recanted
his story and admitted to helping hang six to eight underperforming
dogs. Vick is due to be released from federal prison next summer. He's been
suspended indefinitely by the NFL.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

I saw some of the Vicktory dogs (Best Friends has given 22 of the rescued animals a chance at a happy life) and I cried for all they had been through.

Tell all your single friends, keep that criminal in prison and out of the NFL.


XO, JamieSmitten

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Four Airports in One Day!

I'm back -- no thanks to the airline industry. Read on....

  • With my tooth abscess medicine in hand and backup medicine in checked suitcase, I proceed to my gate at 5:30 a.m. for my 6:20 flight to IAD. I sailed through security which seemed a good omen given my last experience in June.
  • With coffee, muffin, and exorbitantly expensive water, I settle in at my gate for a blissful 3 minutes before an announcement tells me to get my ass back to the front ticket counter as my plane is missing a piece and won't be leaving Richmond any time soon.
  • A panicked jog back to the front gate, a nervous 15 minute wait in line, and I'm transferred from United to Delta flying via Atlanta to Las Vegas -- and only arriving 1 hour later! What about my bag? "No problem, ma'am. I'll call down to the baggage room and have them move that over to the Delta side."
  • Another wait in line at Delta to get a boarding pass and I'm informed that my bag is not their responsibility, so they won't be able to give me a baggage claim ticket. I am informed that I won't be allowed on the flight if United has not moved my baggage to Delta.
  • Back to United where I am assured that all is well.
  • I proceed to security for second time, discarding coffee, muffin, and water, only to be flagged by the dreaded SSSS on the bottom of my boarding pass. This apparently means special screening is required. I'm taken to the side, frisked, shoes removed and checked for substances, made to show the bottom of my feet, and all of my purse and carry-on contents are examined. Hooray -- I pass!
  • Jogging down to the gate, I am rewarded with "now boarding all zones" and I confidently approach the check in. REJECTED. The thorough frisker neglected to hole punch my boarding pass, so I'm given the stink eye and asked how I "got around security." A call is made to security to send down a female security officer to discuss the matter. Speed was not her mantra as yet another security guard ambled towards my gate. Still unfailingly polite, I am subjected to the same procedure -- frisked, shoes, bottom of feet, all objects examined -- AT THE GATE. Yes, the boarding passengers were avidly observing the process.
  • I finally get a (middle) seat and the chatty cathy young man next to me proceeds to talk the whole way to Atlanta. For the most part he was tolerable, not revealing himself to be a McCain supporter or Hokie until the actual descent. You just never know who they will sit you next to on a plane.
  • I arrive in Atlanta and checking my cellphone (note: WEAR WATCH WHEN TRAVELING), I realize that I have 17 minutes before my next flight leaves. I RUN 20 gates to find the doors closed and other passengers pleading to be let on board. "The tower makes the decision about when we stop boarding." The tower can bite me.
  • Directed back to the Delta service area, I join a long line of missed-flight sad people and wait my turn on the courtesy phone. I explain why I'm not on United. I explain that I didn't miss my flight -- DELTA missed me. I'm told that there are no more direct flights to Las Vegas until 9 p.m. I sputter. But wait! Am I willing to travel to Salt Lake City on my way to Las Vegas to arrive at 2 p.m.? You betcha!
  • As directed, I make my way to my next gate assignment and ask the counter agent to print out my boarding pass. She doesn't do that. She and the courtesy phone woman need to get their stories straight. I head back to the courtesy phone area and pugnaciously walk around the long line and get in the shorter line to speak to an actual person. Save your judge-y looks, fellow passengers, I think, I got screwed harder.
  • After witnessing a 9 minute flirtation between the counter agent and the person ahead of me (he came out from behind his desk to POINT down the hall for her) and then a thorough cleaning of his workspace, I am waved forward and I get my boarding pass.
  • I jog down to the gate in time to hear my song, "Now boarding all zones!" At least I'm on an aisle this time.
  • Good thing I ran -- we sit on the tarmac for nearly an hour.
  • When we finally take off, I order a beer and a $6 movie on the mini-screen in front of me. I repeat this cycle, much to the dismay of the teetotaling old man beside me.
  • Turns out I had the right idea because 45 minutes outside of Salt Lake City and just after receiving our small cup of 'almost there' water, we hit the worst turbulence I have ever experienced. We bounced up and down for a good 10 minutes. I could not control my arm which floated up and down violently in the aisle splashing water all over me and the guy across the aisle. Teetotaller is head between his knees praying, people are screaming, and I'm thinking that this was a shitty day to fly.
  • And then, a toddler being desperately clasped by her grandmother in the row ahead bounces up into view and laughs. The best ride she had ever been on, it seemed. So despite the fact that we were soaking wet and passengers were gasping all around us, our row smiled. And then we broke through and the plane leveled off.
  • Clearly my luck had changed, right?
  • Wrong.
  • We land at 2:35 MST, the exact time my connecting flight to Las Vegas is due to leave. Ever the optimist, I sprint down the aisle and run 6 gates down to find....nobody. Plane gone. As I sadly trudge back to my original gate, the Delta employee directs me to the courtesy phone. Like I didn't see that coming.
  • I call, I'm booked on the 7:45 flight and standby for the 3:15. Smarter, I insist that the counter agent print me out a boarding pass before I leave the courtesy area. Then I sprint down to the gate for 3:15. Yep, it was on another concourse.
  • The 3:15 flight is overbooked and volunteers are getting $200 vouchers and a meal ticket to take the later (my!) flight. I get nothing and try not to be resentful. I fail. I approach the counter agent and offer my mastercard begging for a seat in first class, a seat next to the pilot, anything. Nada.
  • The 3:15 flight leaves without me and I overhear another woman say, "well, at least we have a seat on the 5:30." What?!?!??! Screwed over by courtesy phone agent again!
  • On the plus side, my vacation buddy who has been waiting patiently in the Las Vegas airport since 9 a.m. has located my baggage, although the mean baggage agent won't give it to her. I guess there WAS time to make the Atlanta flight to Las Vegas.
  • I get standby on the 5:30 and head to the bathroom for a breakdown. A short cry later (Yes. Sue me. I was supposed to be in Las Vegas six hours ago.), I go to the bar, order a beer, and call my mother. While bemoaning my fate, Wombat calls and screams, "YOU HAVE TO GET TO CONCOURSE E!" Slightly befuddled and definitely deflated, I inform her that I AM at concourse E. Where I will probably die. Alone. Never having seen the dogs at Best Friends. "GET TO GATE 84! GO! GO! GO!"
  • I go. Wombat can be pretty convincing. "Give her your ticket and ID." Miraculously and without any kind of explanation, I'm handed a new ticket and informed that we will start boarding in 15 minutes. I look up -- I'm going to St. George! [Note: The St. George (Utah) airport is closer to Best Friends than Las Vegas, but flights in are much more expensive. Unless, of course, you fly from Richmond to Atlanta to Salt Lake City and give up on Las Vegas.] Wombat has managed this feat in addition to getting my luggage and she is now off to pick up our rental car to come fetch me in St. George.
  • As we walk out onto the tarmac to board the 24(?) seat plane, I'm filled with a sense of calm. I'm on my way. I climb the stairs, beaming at the attendant, and proceed directly to seat 2A. Except, there IS no seat 2A. Oh my freaking word, I'm going to miss another flight. Turns out the seating chart was wrong and I am allowed to sit in 2C. My heartbeat returns to normal.
  • And we are off! I am treated to a fabulous panorama view of the Great Salt Lake -- truly immense -- and an orange-fire-red sunset. I chat up my seat mate who turns out to be an assistant DA for Salt Lake City. He doesn't even get mad at me when I insist he look at the view at the same time the stewardess is handing me my drink and it spills in his hair. He is that nice. He promises that I may call him should I ever be arrested in SLC. Not that I'm planning to go back.
  • I land in St. George and am greeted by a room with a car rental counter. I care not. I'm 2 hours from the puppies and I'll walk if I have to. Fortunately, Wombat pulls up an hour later and we officially begin our vacation.

Tell all your single friends, vacations are not for sissies.

XO, JamieSmitten

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Happy Days Are Here Again!

Virginia has just officially supported a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since 1964.

I am beyond ecstatic. Maybe I won't have to move to the West Coast after all.

This is the start of some goodness, people. You only have to believe. And if a pessimist realist like JamieSmitten believes, you should too.

In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I'll get laid during the new administration. You only have to believe, people. [Note that I'm feeling this optimistic whilst sitting alone with my dog drinking beer with a heating pad stuck down the back of my pants to relieve the results of a particularly effective boot camp workout yesterday. SEE? I'm positively GIDDY!]

Tell all your single friends, (trademarked, overexposed t-shirt logo) LIFE IS GOOD.


XO, JamieSmitten

p.s. An EXCEPTIONALLY fine photo celebrating this historic win will be posted here shortly -- right, DFF??

p.p.s. John McCain's concession speech was far more charming than he has been throughout the campaign. Until he thanked Sarah Palin. Then it was just plain silly.

p.p.p.s. Boot camp is going to suck tomorrow, but I just have to stay up to hear President Elect Obama speak!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Blog Much?

Nope.

But I didn't think it had been two weeks. What can I say, my life is full of....... Well, o.k., my life isn't full. But that is neither here nor there.

I think I'll be in a better mood by midnight on Tuesday, 11/4. Check back.

Tell ALL your friends, BARACK THE VOTE!


XO, JamieSmitten

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Things I Adore, Things I Abhor


Two steps forward, one step back. Why is that? Is there ever a run of good luck? I'm not asking for much, just a series of happy things in a row with a little less of the 'not too much of a good thing' spoilsport universe tipping the scale. Maybe I just need to concentrate.

Five Things I Adore:


  • Friends getting jobs! Hooray for Wombat and Margaret! Hooray for Jodi's restaurant being open again!

  • My mortgage going down $16 per month for the next year!

  • Oh Jamie! bars. Cooling in the fridge right now for lucky, lucky co-workers

  • Long walks with DFF! So much nicer to have someone answer me during walks with Boom.

  • State of Play -- a British miniseries that was highly enjoyable. British actors look like real people and the story was excellent.

Five Things I Abhor:



  • Cancer. Mean nasty mutant cells, prepare to be vanquished.

  • $425 for one HALF tank of heating oil. Bring a sweater if you visit.

  • Political commercials. Is there anybody left who hasn't picked a side? Seriously?

  • Friends who move to the middle of the country. Sniff. Tulsa was not on my must see list - until now.

  • Breaking mirrors. Surely, there can't be seven more years of bad luck ahead?

Tell all your single friends, traveling from realist to optimist is not an easy journey.



XO, JamieSmitten

Monday, October 06, 2008

Goodbye My Grumbly Puck


Slayer of lizard, snake, and bug. Connoisseur of carrots and ice cubes. Grumbler of the highest order. Founder of the canine cocktail hour.
I will miss you under my feet, by my side, and giving best boy stinky kisses.
Puck
199? - 2008

XO, Jamiesmitten

Friday, October 03, 2008

I Am


It must have been a long, crappy week at work, because I think the above is hysterical. I may even buy the t-shirt.
Recap:
  • Started back to bootcamp on 10/1. Knee is sore, but stable. My ass hurts. I hate lunges.
  • Had my picture taken today at work with the knowledge that it will be photoshopped into a picture of the Bride of Frankenstein and sent out via email to the entire department. Oh sure, I'll get a $40 gift card for being the Talk of the Town, but is that really the price of humiliation these days?
  • Watched the Ex-List tonight. Had some funny moments -- the break up song was CLASSIC -- "Revenge is better than love!" -- but hard to not start thinking about my exes. And that, my friends, is a depressing thought. Rest assured, I will NOT be imitating TV and tracking them down.
  • Didn't get to sleep until 3 a.m. this morning thanks to loudly partying asshat neighbors. I WILL be the cranky old bitch next time and call the cops. And your music sucks.
  • Won a quarter off a gambling addict co-worker. I think of it as a life lesson for him and a small source of income for me. He has yet to make me pay up when I call the flip incorrectly, but I think I can take him if he tries as he wears a fleece vest.
  • I have begun a flirtation with a GreenSingles man. He seems normal and has cows. In Maine. Don't even pretend you wouldn't come visit me on the farm. I wonder if I can get Greek yogurt there? Must inquire. Send positive thoughts -- I need some longterm man loving.
  • Puppysat Zeus and Rocky. Two stuffed animals died a gruesome death across the living room floor. Boom got his hump on and has been limping slightly since. Even puppies have to pay to play it seems.
  • Received a work-related email from someone who rode the same bus in ninth grade. I forced him to admit the connection, but seriously, he doesn't remember me dating his friend for a month? My name is pretty uncommon.
  • Looked up that friend and found that he is a brewmaster with several restaurants in Atlanta. Sure, he was short, but maybe I should have overlooked that.
  • Yogurt covered pretzels. Possibly, the highlight of the week thus far. No, maybe it was winning the quarter.
  • Until tomorrow -- when I get to go to the State Fair with my niece and brother-in-law. If my niece does not wake up with the fever she had tonight. If they do come for the fair, I am definitely taking my camera. I will not be taking a picture of the pork parfait. You are welcome.

Tell all your single friends, Smitten is home on a Friday night because retreat seemed the best option.

XO, JamieSmitten

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I've Been Financially Hacked!

Boom and I were enjoying our morning walk in the lovely cool sunshine, puzzling over why some dog walkers were wearing gloves and scarves when clearly, a t-shirt and sandals was the correct choice, when my phone rang.

[My NEW phone. Materialistic of me, but I love it. I've spent an absurd amount of money downloading ringtones (and accidentally, one ringback tone) and assigning pictures to my contact list. The best part? SIM card capability means that when I go to Ireland and Scotland next year (when, not if, people), I can call and tell everyone about while I'm there.]

Caller ID said an 800 number, so I ignored it and kept walking. Upon arriving home I checked the message and it was my bank requesting a call back about some charges on my credit card.

Well that's odd. Haven't used my credit card recently. I start dialing and pull up my online account.

Holy crap! Almost $20,000 from 6 charges! The nice lady at USAA confirmed that my last authorized charge was $19.88 to Netflix and not $5,000 to a company I have never heard of and set to work deleting them.

So whoever hacked my credit card attempted to make three $5,000 payments (donations?) to a religious charity in Baltimore. Like that would ever happen. Not even if it was for born again dogs. The other three charges ranging from $1300 to $2600 were to a travel agency in Finland specializing in safari adventures -- reindeer in Lappland! Again, not me. My bank doesn't know how it happened. I'm just glad they have fraud filters in place. Really glad.

Tell all your single friends, CHECK YOUR ONLINE ACCOUNT FREQUENTLY!


XO, JamieSmitten

p.s. Donated my pint of top grade A-Negative CMV- blood in 9 minutes tonight. (I rock!)
p.p.s. I'd rather give ten pints without a break than sit through any more of "bless her heart, she'll get her reward in heaven'' cliches from the satanic hockey mom on the three major networks tonight.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bet You Can't Guess What I Did This Weekend!


No, really, I was there and I can't believe it happened.


I went to a shooting range. But there was a good reason. AlabamaPink decreed that some shizzle needed to be blown up and you don't argue with a prepared zombie-fighter like her. So off I went, after spending a good 20 minutes trying to figure out what one wears to a shooting range (when dinner out is happening afterwards). I had nothing bright orange, nor camouflage, so I went with black, hoping to blend in with the expected disaffected youth clientele (damn those video games!).


I followed the directions on the website which were not correct, so I had to pull over and call Stephano, my go-to-girl for questions of the country persuasion. She's completely citified, but she has seen the Blue Collar Comedy Tour live, so that qualifies her for this type of situation. Or at least I thought so. Turns out Stephano has only pumped lead into rusting appliances in the backyard. In any case, I was glad to have her on the phone when a trio of expected disaffected youth with GUNS IN THEIR WAISTBANDS walked by. Stephano stayed on the phone for safety as I cautiously ventured down the dark road from which they came.


Now I should point out here that I come from a no gun family. We don't own them, we don't shoot them, we read about them in books. There was purportedly a handgun in a locked metal box hidden on the top shelf of my grandfather's closet in Toronto -- I never saw it, hence the purportedly -- that may or may not have been the gun used to defend my grandmother's grandfather's general store. I'm sure somebody told me that once. Other than one skeet-shooting foray, I've never touched a real firearm.


So imagine my surprise when I walked up to the counter and nobody called me out as a fake and a phony. Instead, they merely asked if I had my own gun or if I would like to use one of theirs. I was prepared for this question thanks to a conversation with my co-worker, Hunter. [I know! The delicious coincidence of that!] Hunter had suggested a Sig Sauer 225. O.K., whatever, I've read about those. So they gave me the gun, a box of ammo, a paper target ("bulls eye, please, I'm no killer"), and a staple gun all in one of those little plastic baskets you use at the grocery store. Weird.


I put on my protective eye (fogged up!) and ear (not good with earrings!) gear, and made my way down to the range. The shooting party was well underway. They had an arsenal, so I was greeted by five backs happily blasting away at targets. Thankfully, they put their weapons down before they turned around to greet me. Nor did they mock me when I handed over my grocery store basket and said, "What do I do?"


Over the next hour, I proceeded to shoot all manner of firearms: a small and delicate antique handgun (not too satisfying after the Sig), a shotgun of some kind (bad for those of us not wearing a contact in the sighting eye), a fancy handgun (wicked kick back into the soft flesh between thumb and finger), some really big gun of Mr. AlabamaPink (TOO LOUD), and the Sig (satisfying large holes in the target and rapid shooting action). I started hitting the targets after AlabamaPink explained about the whole sighting apparatus thingies.


I also found out that bullet casings fly out and hit you in the boob. That part was a surprise as I don't ever remember any literary female detective mentioning it. If you ask me nicely, I'll even show you one. A casing, not a boob. Probably.



Tell all your single friends, shoot loudly and wear a chest guard.




XO, JamieSmitten

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Suck It, Jesus!


Kathy Griffin rocked the Mosque tonight.


Tell all your single friends, go see a comedian -- or better yet, a comedienne.



XO, JamieSmitten

Monday, September 22, 2008

Strongest Dog EVER

Boom and I took a drive to Virginia Beach this weekend and a lovely trip it was. Cruise control set at 71, sparse traffic, no need for AC, we made it there in 1 hr. 50 min.

Boom believes in safe travel and we have tried many types of restraint systems. His first was a harness that connected to the seat belt. He chewed his way out of it before we got on the highway (1 mile from my house). His Aunt Valerie can confirm, she saw it happen. Next, I bought a backseat sling that tied to the headrests front and back. The fabric was meant to keep him in the backseat and safe. On his second trip in the sling, Boom shifted his weight and ripped two (of four) tiebacks off the fabric. A few months ago, I found a new harness restraint system at the Humane Society website. Looked good and the money was going to charity. Bonus!

So Boom was wearing his fancy new harness restraint attached to a zip line that runs across the top of the rear seat. Keeps him safe in case of a sudden catastrophic stop, but still allows him to lie down, sit up, gaze out the rear window and sigh, etc. He seems to like it or at least, he hasn't tried to escape it.

Upon arrival, I got out of the car, grabbed my many bags and dog paraphernalia out of the front seat, and opened the back door slowly, prepared to unhook Boom and put his leash on.

Nope, not fast enough, Boom jumped out of the car while still attached to the zip line.


CRACK!


That was the sound of the grab bar ripping out of the ceiling of my car. You know, this thing:

\/



(ignore the dummy)

So is the force of Boom jumping out of a care more than the force sustained if I was in an accident? It would at least slow down his momentum, wouldn't it? Before, of course, the grab bar came loose and conked me in the head. Hmmmmm.

Can't wait to find out how much grab bars cost.

Tell all your single friends, I have the best of intentions and the worst of executions.



XO, JamieSmitten

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Thanks for the Clarification!

Jamie: Hey Universe? I'm just going to put it out there. If you won't give me a vermin-free house despite my best efforts to dispatch them quickly and painlessly, I'll just move to Paris and live a wonderful life not unlike the film Avenue Montaigne.

Universe: Hey Jamie? Uh no. Doesn't work that way. But I'll throw you a bone so you don't give up hope completely.

Jamie: Boom! Oh my God! The green light is flashing! WE FRIED MICKEY!

And there was rejoicing in Carytown.


Tell all your single friends, I emptied the trap all by myself.



XO, Jamiesmitten

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Resignation + Plan

I give up. I am resigning myself to the fact that herbal mouse repellent and mouse zapping traps are no match for the vermin bastards who keep pooping on my kitchen counters.


And therefore, I am moving. To Paris. With Boom dressed as a small child with unusual ambulation. [Once we get through customs, we'll be fine. Les gens français aiment des chiens.] I'm going to get a job as a waitress in a fancy brasserie and one day shortly after I start working there, this man will show up, fall in love with me instantly, and promise that I will never, ever, ever, have to deal with rodents again.









Tell all your single friends, house for sale -- perfect for cat owners!





XO, JamieSmitten a.k.a. the future Mrs. Gerard Butler

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Humming Along

The refrigerator is back in its corner behaving properly via the customary receptacle. Thank goodness, as the scalding burn on my left hand (sustained while carrying my cup of tea -- not coffee because I like a latte in the morning and there was no milk for many untrustworthy fridge days -- in one hand and a bag of frozen vegetables -- Mexican style! -- for my sore knee in the other hand, and simultaneously ducking down under the extension cord coming over the fridge to the other wall and squeezing in between the fridge and the counter) has been a constant reminder of all not copacetic on the home front.

No new mouse poop, but Mr. Electrician revealed more leftovers when he moved the microwave (oops!). So despite my desire to wear a clothespin on my nose to avoid the spearmint smell, I threw the last organic-non-toxic-mouse-repellent sachet behind the stove. The trap seems to be a no go. Apparently, peanut butter is no longer the attraction it used to be. Or maybe they just don't like the organic kind.

On a different note -- because why should we all suffer through another vermin lament? -- I enjoyed a new playlist at work today. Enjoyed it enough that a co-worker felt compelled to demonstrate some of my better chair-dancing moves to a third party. I have inspired this kind of jealousy before. Believe me, I've got moves. This is the odd mix that got me going:

  1. Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I) by Yaz
  2. Situation by Yaz
  3. So Many Nights by Cat Empire
  4. Right Now by SR71
  5. Missundaztood by Pink
  6. Get the Party Started by Pink
  7. Someone to Love by Fountains of Wayne
  8. Boyz-N-The Hood by Dynamite Hack
  9. Take Off Your Clothes by Morningwood
  10. C'est pas la première fois by Caroline Néron

A refreshing change of pace from my recent Ramones immersion, I chose some Yaz because Alison Moyet has such a damn fine voice and because these songs remind me of dancing nonstop at university parties. "You play your games but the fact remains, I'm the only one that can hold your reins." Was there ever a more appealing lyric for a Scorpio?

I heard this Cat Empire song on KEXP Online and loved it instantly. I don't groove on Cat Power, but the whole empire, DEFINITELY! "So many nights I'm still thinking about you."

I think I heard this SR71 song on the "we play anything!" station and it stuck in my head. "So what if the sex was great, just a temporary escape." I think we can all relate to that. Don't leave me hanging.

Next came a pair of old Pink tunes because I'm not completely sold on her new song or that great color/horrid cut coat thingie she wore on the VMAs. When I had the cd (bootleg copy that cracked!), I really liked her duet with Steven Tyler, but for desk dancing, this is the go to pair. "Looking for the right track, always on the wrong track." Story of my life lyrics, yet again.

I saw Fountains of Wayne at the 2007 Virgin Festival and I was pleasantly surprised. Mind you, it was early on and seeing the Fratellis an hour later knocked them right out of my mind until I heard this song a week or so ago. "Don't give out, don't give up, one of these nights you might find someone to love." Bite me, I'm a closet optimist.

EXCELLENT segue, if I do say so myself, to Dynamite Hack's laid back version of the classic NWA/EazyE song. "Don't quote me, boy, I ain't said shit."

So now that the gloves are off, we might as well take off our clothes with Morningwood (top 10 best band name EVER!). I heard this first on KEXP and although it doesn't have the deepest lyrics, I couldn't resist the rawness. Besides, how many songs can you name that reference a happy trail? "When I see you baby, I wanna take off your clothes."

The last song was a total find as I stumbled through some lists of contemporary Canadian music. Haven't heard much French blues, but this song appeals. According to IMDB, she's also an actress. She's not ugly either. Bet she isn't spending the evening writing about vermin. Sigh. I'll skip the French, but the basic idea is that it isn't the first time she's been played by a guy like him. Hmph.

Tell all your single friends, two glasses of bistro red make a pretty awesome dinner.

XO, JamieSmitten

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Zero Steps Forward

The refrigerator is in the middle of the kitchen plugged in with an extension cord to an outlet that works.

Zeus crashed into my knee when he and Rocky came to visit Boom last night and I actually cried from the pain.

There was a mouse poop 3 inches from the zapping mouse trap this morning. There was no mouse in the trap. And my house still smells like a spearmint gum factory.

Tell all your single friends, I quit.



XO, JamieSmitten

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pain, Suffering, and Uncooperative Appliances

PAIN:

Knee injured in fall at work is still sore. I can walk, but deep knee bends are out of the question, and even the slightest graze across my kneecap causes me to say really bad words and/or see stars. According to my orthopaedist (surely a sign of age, when one has specialists?), the kneecap sensitivity is likely due to nerve damage. It will get better, but nerves regenerate slowly. Come back in a month, try to avoid bumping it. One would think that was fairly straight-forward but I bumped it twice at work today. Clearly, the workplace has become my own personal Amityville house of horror -- GET OUT!

SUFFERING:

Mice poop. On the counter. On the stove. ON MY BANANA. I am an animal lover but mice are vermin and as such, are not welcome in my home and most certainly, are not welcome on my banana. I have purchased an electric zapping mouse trap and with 4 rechargeable double AAs gleefully inserted, I now reportedly have the wherewithal to dispatch 50 mice! I do have to dump the carcasses, but with a little practice, I should be able to do this without even seeing the corpse. Additionally, because it seemed prudent to hit the little bastards with full firepower, I also bought non-toxic sachets that purportedly deter mice from even stepping over the threshold. On the downside, 3 sachets for my mini kitchen has created a powerful spearmint aroma that is quickly permeating the entire downstairs. I hate mint, but I hate mice more. I'll keep you posted.

UNCOOPERATIVE APPLIANCES:

First the dvd player got finicky. It just wouldn't read most cds. So I bought a cleaning disc and used it several times. It read the first cd I inserted. Hooray! It refused to read the second, third, or fourth. I purchased a replacement today -- a dual dvd/vhs player. I hope my tv doesn't take the hint and crap out.

On Monday morning, there was no light in the refrigerator. After slamming the door shut and spending five minutes trying to figure out when I bought the damn thing, it occurred to me that it just might be the bulb. So I bought a two-pack of bulbs. Good thing, as the first one I tried didn't work. Gave up, went to bed. On Tuesday, I tried the next bulb. It didn't work either, so I called Neighbor John to find out if the fridge part was separate than the freezer part because the ice maker still worked. He didn't know, but offered up his fridge thermometer so I could confirm if the fridge was indeed dying. On Wednesday, Neighbor John called to tell me that the thermometer which has been in the back of his fridge for 13 years is missing. So I go buy my own (go straight to Pleasant's Hardware, people, don't waste your time at Home Depot like I did) and put it in the fridge. One hour later, I have confirmed that fridge is definitely cooling and decide to try the bulbs again. This time, one of the bulbs lights up. My happiness was short-lived as the bulb did not light up when I opened the door to get some water at bedtime. This morning, the fridge was both dark and warm inside, with the thermometer indicating the temperature was in the danger zone! (No real need for an exclamation point there, but it just seemed logical following the words danger zone!) Annoyed that my breakfast icepack (for knee) was soggy, I heaved the refrigerator out into the middle of the kitchen and discovered that the whole electrical outlet wasn't working. I checked the breakers and nothing was amiss. An extension cord across the room to an outlet on the other wall got the fridge back to humming normalcy so I could get to Amityville reasonably on time. I called electricians and finally get one to call me back. He patiently listened to my story and asked if I had pushed the reset button. But there wasn't one on the outlet. This is when he tells me that a reset button in the room should reset all the outlets in the room. This helpful bit of information never came up during my many years of formal education. It worked. Awesomely.

Tell all your single friends, I'm slower, lethal (to vermin), and clearly in need of that fix-it manual that everybody else got.



XO, JamieSmitten

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I've Fallen....and I'm on Crutches!

Damn fate tempting. I ought to know better.

I have an astrology book that has profiles for each day of the year. It lists characteristics, tendencies, and recommendations, strengths, weaknesses. Sometimes the book is not even close -- like the November 27 description which captures neither my brother-in-law or my ex Ron. My day is scarily accurate and it lists my two weaknesses: Volatile and Accident-prone.

I took that damn book into work so we could look people up and consider the descriptions. Of course I bragged that most days have THREE weaknesses and I only have two. Clearly, the universe decided to remind me about hubris.

I fell at work and landed squarely on my right kneecap. Instantaneous swelling and some wicked nausea ensued. Nothing is broken according to the x-rays, but I was told to stay off it for a week and keep it wrapped in an ace bandage.

So, my long weekend is turning out to be pretty damn dull. On the plus side, I'm nearly caught up on back issues of Vanity Fair!

Tell all your single friends, rubber soles are not foolproof.


XO, JamieSmitten

Eight Is Enough!

The next president of the United States just said everything that needed to be said. America, I hope you were listening.



Tell all your single friends, vote for change.



XO, JamieSmitten

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Random End of Week Thoughts

  • My faith in personalized license plates was restored this morning when I saw an old 280Z painted orange sporting: GENRL Z

  • Some recent gems from the profiles on that horrible dating site which is supposedly matching me on innumerable compatibility points:
  • How do you spend your leisure time? On the golf coarse
  • The Things Chris can't live without are:
  • Swordplay
  • Books
  • Privacy
  • Chocolate
  • Physical Intimacy
  • I don't know about you, but I have a hard time picturing my soul mate ENGAGING in swordplay, let along listing it as his top thrill.

  • I watched Charlie Wilson's War this week and found it quite enjoyable. Nothing like getting your history lesson with Tom Hanks in the leading role. I'd watch him floss because he is that likable.

  • I also rented The Three Lives of Thomasina -- an ancient Disney movie that I remember watching on tv as a kid. What I forgot was how sadistic Walt was. Holy crap, animals were dying left and right! It was kind of horrifying and not at all the happy cat movie that I remembered. Good thing I watched it before buying it for my niece.

  • Bootcamp is going well. I lured a former neighbor to a free class this week, but I don't think she is ready to commit full time. Meanwhile, Bootcamp leader is contemplating adding a third day each week. Now that I have the THIRD alarm set on stun, I'm making it to class at 5:30 without issues. So BRING IT ON, KYA!

  • I read My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands by Chelsea Handler in about 4 hours. The true tall tales of her dating life were very funny with a side of David Sedaris insight into dysfunctional family dynamics. It was a nice change after reading some chick lit novels that falsely promise true love around every corner. I'll stick with the messy, skid mark on the underwear version of life, thank you.

  • The Olympics weren't as boring as I expected. I saw some great dives (somebody please tell me, who decided a mandatory dive starts with a handstand on a diving board a million miles above the pool? That is INSANE), some exciting volleyball (where are these volleyball men hanging out in the off season? Those are some seriously tall and cute young men on the Brazilian team), and lots of swimming (were the interviews with Mama Phelps longer than her son's races?). Done for two.

  • I saw Pineapple Express at a half-full matinee on Saturday. I was a little disappointed at the low stoner percentage in the theatre, but perhaps the 1:50 show isn't the optimal time. In a word: Hysterical. Yes, all those reviews about the comedy turning into a violence fest were accurate, but killing somebody with a Daewoo doesn't exactly indicate you have left funnytown. Crude, rude, cringe-inducing at times, but total escapist entertainment.

Tell all your single friends, what if Smitten tells HER one-night stand stories?

XO, JamieSmitten

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mind in Gutter

Honestly, is it just me? They keep playing a commercial for Friendly's meal special -- buy a certain item, get a Happy Ending Sundae. I can't help it, I laugh every time.



Then, I see this license plate on the car next to me in work parking lot:


STROKN8


Is this a warning that the car may suddenly speed up and then drift slowly to a stop? Does he have a cat in his lap?



Tell all your single friends, stop leaving so much to my imagination.





XO, JamieSmitten

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sheer Genius

Read the winning entries of the 2008 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest here.

From the website:

An international literary parody contest, the competition honors the memory (if not the reputation) of Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873). The goal of the contest is childishly simple: entrants are challenged to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels. Although best known for "The Last Days of Pompeii" (1834), which has been made into a movie three times, originating the expression "the pen is mightier than the sword," and phrases like "the great unwashed" and "the almighty dollar," Bulwer-Lytton opened his novel Paul Clifford (1830) with the immortal words that the "Peanuts" beagle Snoopy plagiarized for years, "It was a dark and stormy night."

Some of the entries that had me laughing out loud:

  • The mongrel dog began to lick her cheek voraciously with his sopping wet tongue, so wide and flat and soft, a miniature pink fleshy cape soaked through and oozing with liquid salivary gratitude; after all, she had rescued him from the clutches of Bernard, the curmudgeonly one-eyed dogcatcher, whose own tongue -- she remembered vividly the tongues of all her lovers -- was coarse and lethargic, like a slug in a sandpaper trenchcoat. Christopher Wey, Pittsburgh, PA

  • Special agent Mark Park's strong chin and firm mouth showed that he was a man to be reckoned with, while his twinkling blue eyes revealed surprising depths of kindness and humor, the scar on his cheek a past filled with violence and danger, and his left ear a fondness for M and Ms, but only the red ones. John R. Cooper, Portland, Oregon

  • There are certain people in the world who emanate an aura of well being -- they radiate sunshine, light up a room, bring out the best in others, and fill your half empty glass to overflowing - yes it was these very people thought Karl, as he sharpened his mirror-finished guthook knife, who were top of his list. Jason Garbett, London, U.K.

  • Watching Felicia walk into the bar was like watching two fat Rottweilers in yellow spandex and spike heels that had treed a scrawny bleach blond cat at the top of a skinny flagpole that for some reason had decided to sprout casaba melons. Melissa Alliston, Coraopolis, PA

I'm TOTALLY entering next year.


Tell all your single friends, The evening started with a crashing bang that reminded Joe of that time in Vienna when he rear-ended the woodwind section in the taxi and they in turn, crumpled the fender of sidecar in which the tuba player was riding, but then again, there were no horns this time. (or something like that)


XO, JamieSmitten

Monday, August 18, 2008

Louche

MEANING: adjective: Of questionable character; dubious; disreputable.

ETYMOLOGY: From French louche (cross-eyed), from Latin lusca, feminine of luscus (one-eyed).

Oh. Dear. I think it is not coincidence that the A.Word.A.Day in the mailbox this morning pertains to disreputable. I was certainly cross-eyed from the heavenly Legend pale ale when I opened the laptop last night.

I stand behind my statements, forward as they may have been.

Now I'm off to puke my guts up running around a field whilst someone I pay tells me to run faster.

Tell all your single friends, louche, soooooooo louche.


XO, JamieSmitten

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Just To Be Clear

I'm completely toasted.

Drunk.

Obliterated.

And madly in love with unobtainable men.

You know who you are.

Tell all your single friends, Smitten DOES do that thing with her tongue.

XO, JamieSmitten


p.s. Major props to DFF (Determined Friend Forever) Anne for facilitating this AWESOME buzz.

p.p.s. Fweng -- geography has screwed you out of some major lovin' tonight. But I'll be thinking about you.....

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This Is What You Missed

  • My toenails are PINK. This is pretty rare, as regular readers can attest. Blue is the preferred color. But heck, it is summer, and when you have a bottle of nail polish named The Lifeguard Makes Me Blush......
  • During a 2 hour "Managing Your Career" class at work, I was informed that it was unsurprising that I haven't found a career. Being an ENFP and all. Great. I thought it was just poor choices on my part (cinema draft house waitress, optometric assistant, document processor, legal admin, blackjack dealer, corporate cog). Nope, I'm doomed to want to help people but get bored quickly once that is done.

  • I have procured books by both my crushes: Craig Ferguson's Between the Bridge and the River and Hugh Laurie's The Gun Seller but have not had time to read either. All this working out and such.

  • Speaking of working out, I slept through Monday's boot camp. Slept through 1 alarm that repeated every 5 minutes FIVE times. Yes, I was tired, but I had my workout clothes ready and everything. On the plus side, I did the workout at home Monday night. Not quite as intense, but better than nothing.

  • Online dating continues to be as frustrating as before. On GreenSingles.com (for us environmentally friendly types), I sent a free "Smile" to someone. Standard verbiage saying I read their profile and was interested. Care to know what I got in reply?


Thanks for sending a smile. I am disgusted with the
corporate media and the corporate warmongering candidates. I voted for Rep
Kucinich in the Illinois Primary and will vote for Nader in the Fall election. I
am sick of CNN giving me another corporate fascist to vote for. I am not even a
Democrat anymore. They left me. I am a Green Party member now. If the Democrats cannot even mention poverty or the term "working class" anymore in their party platform, they may as well join the Republicans and make sure the rich do not starve!!Morons say I will be throwing my vote away. I say, I will not have blood on my hands when Obama or McCain attack Iran, Afghanistan, or Pakistan. I am sick of my country being a rogue nation. As far as I can see, this country is the only nation to use nuclear weapons and is still using them!! Depleted Uranium is still radioactive...hello! I have watched Bush terrorize the world and I am sick of it. I am ready to go to a civilized country if McCain is
elected or selected. Obama is no better really. He is wanting to subsidize
insurance companies and bomb Afghanistan and Pakistan. Screw the morons here. I will not waste my breath on idiots anymore. Americans are too lazy to read and 49% are too lazy to let the candidates know that they are watching by voting. If only every eligible voter would vote, the candidates would have to think that people are paying attention. I realize that the Constitution has made it very easy for working people to vote by making Tuesday Election Day. But, people need to get off their ass and vote before they find a national ID chip implanted in their bodies. The fence around this country will not be for keeping illegals out as much as for keeping the morons in!! Do you understand me? Are you as disgusted as me? Did you enjoy Obama voting to eliminate the 4th Ammendment as much as I did? He is a good little fascist for sure. I am glad that the government can open my mail and intercept my overseas mressages. Do you understand that the government will know if you ask another person overseas to help you escape this totalitarian police state? Naive morons think that they are looking for the terroristsss with this FISA law. Dream on... Why are Americans so lazy and pathetically stupid? Please enlighten me if you
can.Sincerely,B---- PS I am a good person and would like to correspond with you. I like your style "smitten" and think you pay attention. I do not Yahoo! since they give email info to the Chinese government and cause many Chinese people to be beaten, tortured, and jailed. I have a Windows Live Mesenger ID(XXXXXX) and I would like to chat with you sometime if you are interested.

Thank goodness he doesn't know where I live. Yikes!

  • In pouring the watery stuff off my only-used-once sour cream, I accidentally dumped the contents of the container into the sink drain. Yes, I scooped the top part off and ate it. Shoot me.

  • I went to the beach and swam and only stepped on one crab and he didn't pinch me.

  • I learned that buying a fancy new vacuum cleaner will not make me vacuum more often. I must say that the new Dyson DC-25 looks way better in the corner of the dining room than the Dirt Devil did.

  • Mr. Tivo failed me for the first time ever. He missed a channel change and neglected to tape Project Runway. We had words and a restart and the relationship is back on track. Thank goodness -- he's all I've got (read above re internet dating psychos).


  • I have plans this weekend! Hair appointment with new hairdresser. Baby shower at Can Can. Sloth Loves Chunk within walking distance, although I shall drive to avoid a repeat of "the night which can't be remembered but ruined a pair of shoes." Legend on Sunday to catch another excellent band, Blue Line Highway. Not my usual fare, but I happen to know the guitar player and he is most excellent. Besides, he was DFF's prom date. Did I mention Richmond is a small, small, town?

  • All vegetable plants are dead. No pattypan squash or eggplant fresh from the garden for me. For free anyway. And there was so much promise.....



  • I didn't like Dark Knight. I thought it was booooorrrriiiinnnngggg, although amusing to count the number of people who didn't pace themselves with their jumbo drinks and had to run out to the bathroom midway through the movie. Yes, Heath was awesome, but one character does not a movie make. And don't get me started on the gratuitous violence against dogs. It was that crap movie Signs all over again. Hmmm. Those were both movies paid for by my employer as a "fun event." Starting to see a pattern.

  • Speaking of work, my manager has just begun a two week vacation. As a green citizen, I feel it is incumbent upon me to limit my fuel consumption and work from home. Long lunch, anyone?

Tell all your single friends, paint it, read it, watch it, clean it, do it (whatever it is).



XO, JamieSmitten


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ha!

A bear walks into a bar and says, "I want a bourbon and............... coke"

The bartender asks "what's with the huge pause?"

The bear says, "I've had them all my life."



Tell all your single friends, laught it out, kid, laugh it out.



XO, JamieSmitten

Monday, August 11, 2008

What Have I Been Up To?

11 days and no posts. What's up with that?

I thought about posting. There is an amusing half-written post about songs I heard during the morning commute. There are notes on the nine dollar beer I absentmindedly bought and then consumed ceremonially. Heck, there was even an insight or two. All gone. Mind like a sieve.

I've determined that my creativity (substitute "brain" if you like) is completely transient. I think of the most clever thoughts ever (I digress, but that would be an awesome title for my posthumous publication) and then promptly forget them because I'm driving, showering, pretending to work, exercising like a middle-aged maniac, etc.

I suppose I could start keeping a pen and notebook handy, but that just leads to cryptic notes that make no sense whatsoever when I find them days after the inspiration.

I do know that the next time I visit my mum, I'll leave a few notes behind. Then, many years from now, she'll send them to me in an envelope with a post-it that says, "remember these?"

I won't remember at first. But then it will come back to me: I used to write.

Composed circa 1989:

/Muse-Less/ (w/apologies to those who are inspired)

When I am silly I try to be very silly.
When I am pretentious I try not to be.
When I am happy I try to sustain it.
When I am sad I try not to be.
When I am serious I try to be very serious.
When I am poetic I try not to be.
(I do have a reputation to save)
Me

I am older than I ever planned to be
I suspect it will only get worse.


Thanks, Mum, for cleaning out some boxes and reminding me that writing anything and everything is who I used to be. I'm going to try and be that girl again.

Tell all your single friends, catch it quick!



XO, JamieSmitten