The Post About Halloween Costumes

Happy Halloween! I was 100% going to blog today about different costumes, but then I watched The Office last night and couldn't resist:

I will say this: When did Halloween become an acceptable holiday to slut it up?


The Post About Halloween Pranks

My house is a very, very, very fine house. But not with 2 cats in the yard. No.

I have been hit more times than I can count. And by "hit" I mean vandalized in some form or fashion. Here are a sample of the crimes my property has endured:
  • Classic toilet papering in the trees and bushes
  • The lyrics to "Milkshake" written on my car windows
  • 500 plastic forks shoved into my yard (I know the # because they left the box behind)
  • 10 Republican campaign signs posted in my yard - twice.
  • My car lifted up in the air with multiple tire jacks
  • Spray snow on every window of my house and car
  • Leaves raked from an elderly woman's yard during a mission project piled in my carport
  • My car covered in post-it notes and filled with packing peanuts

And the best...I was in Atlanta visiting my college roommate and when I returned home after midnight, my home had been broken into and Christmas decorations were everywhere. A 6 foot tree fully decorated in the dining room. Christmas ornaments hanging from light fixtures. The whole she-bang.

The question you might ask is "Why?" My neighbors say it's a sign of affection and I will choose to lean on that assumption. However, it might have something to do with my own poor choices. It's probably less affection and more payback. Don't you love a great prank?


The Post About Scary Movies

I really do not enjoy scary movies. My friend, Jennifer Lynch, once said "I don't invite fear into my life." Ever since she passed on that little tidbit of wisdom, I have made that my personal policy.

However, here is my super short list of scary movies I have seen that ruined me and possibly the seat in which I was sitting.
1. Silence of the Lambs - Sociopathy at its best and worst. Plus, everytime I use lotion, I think about what a great dress my skin will make. Not a good lotion motivation.
2. Seven - Even a yummy Brad Pitt could not help me digest this. I did learn you should shave your fingertips in order to trip up the CSI investigating the crime you just committed.
3. Scream - I saw this with my college roomies. Then, they selfishly went out of town and left me in our creepy apartment on Lawrenceville Highway near the ghetto Kroger. A ringing phone has never caused me so much distress.

What would be on your pee-in-your-pants list?


The Post About Halloween Candy

Trick-or-treating is not for the faint of heart. Great risks of embarassment and dog attacks and neighbors refusing to open the door do not always reap great rewards. Here are what I believe to be the worst deposits to your pumpkin...
Swedish Fish
Swim back to your Scandinavian homeland - you disgusting red concoction. Also, the tagline to this unfortunate candy is "A friend you can eat." Umm...what?
I am always surprised by how many people love smarties. Especially since they taste like chalk. It is the poor-man's sweet tart and I choose to live rich.
Tootsie Rolls
This is not chocolate. You can tell yourself it is. But you should check your pants, because they are probably on fire.
Peanut Butter Wax Candy
You know these, right? The chewy and what seemed to be expired candy in the wax wrappers. I Googled and could not find a name for them because the creator of this nasty treat is that ashamed.
Technically not a candy, but I don't even like to find these in my couch. There is a reason the saying is "turn up like a bad penny." Because pennies are bad.

Honorable Mention
Apples with razorblades in them. Actually, apples without razorblades stink too.

What do you hate to find in the bottom of your halloween bag?


The Post About Halloween @ The Office

One of my favorite episodes from one of my favorite shows.

The Post About Halloween

I heart Halloween. I have heard that may be in direct conflict with my love for Jesus, but I will simply have to manage. Halloween is too snazzy not to celebrate. Each post this week will celebrate this wonderful commercial holiday.

Fun Fact: Pumpkins are 90% water.


The Post About Cupcaking

My friend Kendra's daughter, Reese, had a birthday on Thursday. Here she is in all her one-year-old glory:Like most one-year-olds, she has a picky disdain for certain foods. That night, she decided mandarin oranges would be better served on the floor as she catapulted them from her high chair. She is actually adorable and for a nano-second, I thought my estrogen levels rose enough for me to want a little nugget like her. But then I leaned in closer and saw an enormous amount of snot escaping from her nose and realized she was pooping and eating grilled cheese at the same time. Umm...no.

While at her house, I also got to do my favorite thing - cupcakes. We decorated about more than any party can eat, but Reese's jumbo one turned out pretty precious - vanilla with white icing:

It inspired me, so I made TGIF cupcakes the next day - margarita with lime icing. Yummy.


The Post About Keepers

I love television. There, I said it. And not just one type of television. I love much of it - from Dirty Jobs to the Colbert Report to Ace of Cakes to Oprah. Even though there are a lot of shows I would watch if they were on and I was sitting casually with no other pressing tasks, there are not many shows that make my "must Tivo" list. Those include: Chuck, House, Pushing Daisies, The Office, Frontline, 30 Rock, and the most beloved Lost. (let's talk about which one of those is not like the other...)

I have added three new little ones to the pile:
1. The Ex List: So fun with quick and witty dialogue. Plus it makes you wonder if Mr. Right was the one who got away... (Not the case for me since almost every one of my exes is married - Hi Andrew!)
2. Fringe: I heart JJ Abrams in an almost stalkerish sort of way. I stayed with Felicity even through the bad hair season. I traveled across the world with Sydney waiting for Vaughn to be the one. I am still on an island in the middle of the Pacific anticipating Sawyer's untimely death. And then there was Fringe - Pacey plus creepy plus quirky. A great equation. (I love JJ so much that I might be willing to see the new Star Trek - might.)
3. Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane: Okay, so techincally it's not new, but I only now have tasted the deliciousness that is Kimora Lee Simmons. I want to be one of her Africasian-American children. Absolutely worth an E! marathon to catch up.

What is your TV addiction?


The Post About Chuck

I have been out of town so much lately that all I seem to do is play catch up with Tivo (still the only way to watch television for those of you holding out). I will blog tomorrow about what "new" shows I am now committed to...

One hour (or 44 Tivo minutes) I really love is Chuck on NBC. Quick synopsis: Chuck Bartowski-- a computer geek opens an e-mail subliminally encoded with government secrets and he unwittingly downloads an entire server of sensitive data into his brain. Now, the fate of the world lies in the unlikely hands of a guy who works at a Buy More Electronics store. Seems far-fetched, but that is the great thing about a show like this - no reality required. Plus, the scenes in the Buy More are hi-lari-ous.
The episode this week revolved around a high school reunion and included Nicole Richie (post-Harlow). When you revisit 1998 - there must be music to match. The show's playlist included:

“Beautiful Disaster” by 311
“Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” by Backstreet Boys
“I Don’t Want to Wait” by Paula Cole
“MMMBop” by Hanson
“Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba

It was a wonderful flaskback to Emory, living in our groovy Russian condo watching the Creek, Melrose and Buffy. (How crazy is it that you can watch almost a dozen of those 1998 shows' stars on 2008 shows right now?)


The Post About Hunting

I am not a huge fan of animals. Cute puppies that fit in your purse are great, but otherwise, I'm out. I don't even like to eat anything that looks remotely like it did before it was 6 feet under (or on my plate.) No chicken wings. No cracking open a lobster. You would think that this distaste would lend itself to a love for shooting them, but not so much. Hunting almost seems like a stranger fascination. Especially when there are books to be read and planes to be boarded. Of course, to each his or her own. Can I get a hollaback from all my lady hunters, please?

I was in Northport, AL yesterday when I began to tailgate this unique sight:
If your screen fails you, that driver is a self-declared "squirrel hunter." Do you eat squirrel? Wear it? Mount it over your fireplace? If you hunt squirrel, is it because you don't have the tools to hunt anything that doesn't walk a power line or have an anxiety disorder? Strange.


The Post About Green

I woke up this morning and absolutely could not get out of bed. I already have enough problems hopping out in the AM because a long time ago I splurged on fabulous sheets and a fabulous duvet and an even more fabulous pillow. Also, the room stays fairly dark because the sun chooses to rise on the other side of my casa - something you don't necessarily think of when buying a home - but a definite perk.

However, my specific obstacle was the vast contrast in temperatures. The temperature inside the covers versus the temperature outside the covers. I later discovered it was 58 degrees outside the comfort of my bed - not an incentive for poking your toes out. The son of a preacher man or the smell of fresh-brewed caffeine were the only things luring me out. Since I didn't have the former, a nice espresso roast would have to do.

My issue is that I'm not ready to bless the utilities company with an increased cashflow. I contacted them and asked how I could save some moolah and I thought I would pass on the great tips:
- Set the thermostat at 68° or below - change the direction of any ceiling fans to help circulate warmer air near the ceiling. When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10°–15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature. (I have a programmable thermostat that is quite snazzy, but not quite installed - cheap at big box stores.)
- Your water heater is the 2nd largest energy user in your home. By insulating your electric water heater and using hot water efficiently, you will save energy and money each month.
- Use your dishwasher. Hand washing your dishes can use up to 6 gallons more water. (I now have a financial reason to be lazy...)
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs to replace incandescent bulbs. They last 10 to 20 times longer and use 75 percent less energy. (I have done this for almost 2 years and am shocked by the savings!)

- Use the cold water setting on your clothes washer when you can. Using cold water reduces your washer's energy use by 75 percent.
- Unplug electronic devices and chargers that have a block-shaped transformer on the plug when they are not in use. For computer scanners, printers and other devices that are plugged into a power strip, simply switch off the power strip after shutting down your computer.

These ideas help you be "green" and save green. Kermit was incorrect.


The Post About Mood Music

This is my ideal playlist for a Sabbath afternoon nap...which I'm already needing.
1. C.S. Lewis by Brooke Fraser: "'Cause my comfort would prefer for me to be numb, and avoid the impending birth of who I was born to become." We have a purpose - an Ephesians 2:10 to-do list.
2. Healed by Nichole Nordeman: I don’t really think we truly understand how lost we are without God. Chaotic, weak, and orphaned.
3. Hallelujah by Bethany Dillon: I wish this chorus was true for me. Sometimes I let the mountains in front of me block my view of God.
4. Galatians 2:20 by Candi Pearson: I love Galatians. I grew up a “church kid” and I believed God was rules. I’m so glad I learned He is freedom from the rules. Really.
5. Psalm 145 by Shane and Shane: “the Lord is gracious and slow to anger; He is rich in love. He is good to all” That slow to anger part comes in handy on most days.
6. Come To Me by Jill Paquette: This is song from the perspective of God. “And once in a while is not enough to show to Me what you call love” God wants to have a passionate love affair with us – do we want the same?
7. Be Still My Soul sung by Lisbeth Scott: I heard her sing this on an episode of Alias. My soul can be shaky at times and I lack faith. He is faithful even then.
8. Hold On by Nichole Nordeman: When I walk into Wal-Mart, I always find myself staring at people and wondering about their stories. Are they struggling, scared, worried, frustrated, or hurting? Love finds you in all those places.
9. Come Thou Fount sung by Sara Groves: One of the best songs ever written in my humble opinion. “Prone to wander…prone to leave the God I love.” I love God, but that feeling is not enough. Obedience is hard.
10. Grace by Saving Jane: We fumble with the gift of our free will.


The Post About Highlights

Highlights magazine was one of my favorites as a kid. Hidden Pictures testing my vision and Goofus & Gallant testing my choices. This mild-mannered publication was one of the only good things about going to the dentist. Except for nitrous oxide - a very good thing.

Speaking of highlights, here are a few from my work trip to the beach (still there, just packed in a van headed to the next destination...):
**Ate at LuLu's and listened to a cajun house band that played Ain't Too Proud To Beg and Van Morrison in the same set. Learned from dinner conversation that one of my coworkers would eat a roach for a minimal amount of cash. She would also sleep with another co-worker's husband for approximately the same amount.
**Learned that three co-workers have lower back tattoos. None of them are hurrs.
**16 people pushing a Suburban are not enough to get it unstuck from the white sands of the gulf coast.

I am also listening to Ryan Adams while I type this - another highlight.


The Post About Working Girls

I am on a staff retreat for work. I actually have been looking forward to it since the moment it went on my calendar. I work with this crazy and passionate group of people. We all work very hard and like to play hard too, so some time away is both uber-productive and uber-fun.

Just a quick glance at some of my colleagues who may seem similar to some of your own:
(their names are changed to protect the "innocent")
1. Phil: "He" is actually one of my favorites. I love funny people especially when they have no clue of the hilarity. Phil is known for no filter and spraying his cat with Lysol when provoked.
2. Lester: "He" is the caretaker of the group. Always meeting needs and keeping things color-coded. He is a dog lover who is a fan of the 2nd amendment.
3. Risa: Her heart is too big for us to deserve. She is a friend to all. She geographically diversifies the group by hailing from Alaska. And she can even read.
4. Kim: She is the realist in the group, always challenging you to remember the boundaries. But she also keeps you sane in a crisis through her use of bubbles and chocolate.

This is just a random sample of a great group who kill me with their determination and compassion. I hope I reflect even a sliver of their light.


The Post About Howard

This is me - feeding one of my addictions yesterday while I was two hours from home:Howard Schultz purchased Starbucks in 1987 (I got my 5th perm that year...). At the time, it was 6 small stores in Seattle. Howard almost passed on the chance. He said it felt like a case of the salmon swallowing the whale. Here is how Schultz describes the moment in his autobiography, Pour Your Heart Into It: "This is my moment, I thought. If I don’t seize the opportunity, if I don’t step out of my comfort zone and risk it all, if I let too much time tick on, my moment will pass. I knew that if I didn’t take advantage of this opportunity, I would replay it in my mind for my whole life, wondering: What if?"

He paid 4 million for those 6 stores.

Less than five years later, on June 26, 1992 (I had a broken arm and foot that year) Starbucks’ stock went public. By the end of that day, its market capitalization equaled $273 million. Not too shabby.

Paul in Colossians 4:5 states: "...make the most of every opportunity."

I don't really have any liquid assets right now. Or gas or solid assets for that matter. But I know I can invest in people and disciplines that can reap dividends of heavenly proportions.

Carpe Diem!


The Post About Guillaume

I quoted Guillaume Apollinaire here. I am doing it again. (I must have a thing for French poets and didn't know it...)

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

Face the fear.


The Post About Stumps

A good line - no matter which way you lean. Of course, it would be nice if she would also "quiet" those in her audience who yell racial epithets at African-American cameramen and say "kill him" in regards to Obama.


The Post About Breasts

The Love/Avon Army of Women offers women the opportunity to partner with the scientists who are conducting research that will end breast cancer - once and for all.

This disease has been around for decades, but it does not have to be our future. We can be the generation that stops breast cancer once and for all by figuring out what causes this disease and how to prevent it!

This is OUR chance to be part of the research that will end breast cancer. It takes a just a minute to join. But the impact we will have will last a lifetime.

I have joined this army and I hope you will too! If you don't have breasts, forward the link to someone who does!


The Post About Fours

4 Jobs You've Had in Your Life:
Grocery Store Cashier (I was the fastest 10 items or less gal)
Bank Teller (I lost enough cash that summer that they didn't ask me back)
Payless Cashier (where I developed my heart for cheap and shoes)
Overnight Staffer @ domestic violence shelter (I can pop out a wife beater's eyes from his sockets if necessary)

4 Movies You Could Watch Over and Over:
Star Wars (I am still waiting to wake up and be Princess Leia)
Cutting Edge (my abandoned dream of triple lutzes)
Finding Nemo (those scenes in the tank are the best)
Return to Me (a heart transplant has never been as funny)

4 Things you Want to Do:
Snow ski in Europe
Party plan for a living
Get married and birth 0 or less children
Retile my bathroom floor

4 Costumes You've Worn on Halloween:
Fiona from Shrek
Chinese Takeout
Ace of Spades

4 Songs You Could Listen to Again and Again:
Tainted Love sung by Soft Cell
Sin Wagon sung by The Dixie Chicks
All Along the Watchtower sung by Dave Matthews Band
You Are On Our Side sung by Bethany Dillon

4 Websites You Visit Daily:
ew.com (I love their watercooler)
blogger.com (I can read a lot and write a little)
facebook.com (helps me keep up with our little world)
cnn.com (helps me keep up with our big world)

Your turn...


The Post About Deadlines

27 days and counting. After last night, I am no longer part of the 8% in America who are undecided.

Vote Registration Deadlines
Alabama - Friday, October 24
Missouri - Wednesday, October 8
California - Monday, October 20
Florida - Monday, October 6 - so sad. (Hi Jen!)
Georgia - Monday, October 6 - so sad. (Hi Ang!)
Tennessee - Monday, October 6 - so sad.
Mississippi - Saturday, October 4 - so sadder.

If you live in another glorious state and want the 411 - go here.

As my Dad says, "If you don't vote - don't complain." He also says "If you don't vote because you don't like either of them - move." (He is a straight shooter.)


The Post About Educational Gaming

The computer lab. Some of my best memories from elementary school were playing on those fabulous beige Apple boxes. There were no two better games than these:
1. Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
My arch nemesis was Patty Larceny. Stupid play on words.
2. The Oregon Trail
This is how most of my games ended. I never put enough emphasis on fruit. Stupid scurvy.


The Post About Bon Qui Qui

I reference Bon Qui Qui in one of my vacation posts. She is lovely.


The Post About Wonder

I am facilitating a book study on Sunday nights at my iglesia. The book is Your God is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan (a great read...). In Chapter 5, he writes about how technology has both empowered us and diminished us. "Like Delilah, technology has wooed us in order to kill us."

So to reach back to our childhood and jumpstart our imaginations a bit, I gave each group member some playdoh, chocolate milk and some whales cheesy snacks (Chapter 4 was about Jonah...). Their task was to either pick the word "Farm" or "Beach" and then create a masterpiece to reflect their chosen destination. Here are three of the beachy sculptures:

Notice Jonah's legs still getting some sunlight.

"'The wind blows wherever it pleases,' Jesus goes on to tell Nicodemus, who struggles in his literalism and rationalism to understand. 'You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it is comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit' (John 3:8). There is no formula. This is something we can't work for, work up, predict, direct. You just hear it coming and fling yourself headlong into the hurricane." Mark Buchanan.


The Post About The Show

My Mom and I have a date scheduled for the first week in October every year - the Southern Women's Show. We take off work and head to the civic center and ready ourselves for sales pitches and lots of free goodies...

This year had a cherry on top because we got to meet Jon and Kate Gosselin from the fabulous Jon and Kate +8 on TLC. Here is a professional-quality paparazzi photo:

Interesting things overheard when you pack 1,000 women into an exhibition hall:
1. "All women from Alabama are hunters - boo-yah."

2. "How cute is that Crimson Tide fanny pack that lights up?"

3. "Do you have any cell phone koozies with pink rhinestones?"

4. "Would you like to register for a free magic show? I perform at weddings."
5. "If your child's bottom drags the ground in his stroller - he should be in school, not blocking the aisle."


The Post About Slices

I love Relevant Magazine. I will admit it. This is unlike Sarah Palin who keeps her magazines secret - she's so sneaky. Relevant is a perfect blend of God, Life, and Progressive Culture (their subtitle). Plus, it's a read that Cari Kates and I can agree on...

They have a great feature, called "Slices." News tidbits to keep you informed. Here are a few of my favorites from this week:

1. The Jersey Turnpike is having a little problem with people stealing the sign for mile marker 66.6. Feel free to insert your own joke about Jersey being hell right here. At any rate, our first suspect would be AC/DC...

2. 33 pastors across the country engaged in a protest this weekend by openly endorsing political candidates, thus endangering their tax-exempt status. In contrast to this, 74 percent of Americans strongly oppose pastors endorsing candidates from the pulpit...

3. Here's an interview with the maker of Christian spin-off video game Guitar Praise (the Christian Guitar Hero) about the possibility of a Christian Grand Theft Auto. Wouldn't that pretty much just entail walking around aimlessly?...

4. Billionaire Bill Gates has donated $168 million to researching malaria vaccines. Bill, those Seinfeld commercials may have been atrocious, but you're a stand-up guy...
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