Hi, I’m a Mac


I have had this MacBook since 2007.  I think it is dying.  (Pause here for a moment of silence for my Buttercup).  It is slow, the keyboard does weird things, and it is getting old.  I suspect it is getting close to its best before date.

This leads me to a conundrum.

I love my Mac.  Love it, love it, love it.  But, as you all know, Macs are expensive.  Really expensive.  I just don’t know if it is worth it.

On the other hand, PCs seem so clunky, and I am not used to them anymore.  Plus, they don’t look as cool (and yes, I know how shallow that sounds).

I have been going back and forth about this for months And I am no closer to a decision.  This is driving me crazy.

And so it goes

I have somehow lost an entire week.  How very careless of me.  For some insane reason I thought I still had another week before Christmas.  But no, it turns out Christmas is next week.  On the 25th.  Like always.  I really don’t know what I was thinking.

We are doing Secret Santa at work this week and I am having a lot of fun with it.  I will tell you more about it later if I remember.  But on the off chance my secret santa might see this, mum’s the word for now.

And speaking of work, things at the bookstore are crazy busy.  This is to be  expected.  I am enjoying it.  Although I do wish I understood why so many people who are Christmas shopping are so crabby.  Christmas shopping is fun!  You shouldn’t be crabby, you should be enjoying yourself.  And don’t forget to take a candy cane from the basket on your way in or out.  Or on your way in and on your way out if you really like candy canes.

It looks like we are going to have a winter storm here tomorrow, which is kind of stressing me out in the way that winter storms always do.  Especially since I have to work until 9 tomorrow night, which means I will probably be driving home mid-blizzard.  I am not excited about this.

And finally, the Christmas knitting is almost done.  The key word there is almost.  Knit without ceasing.

That is all.

Carry on.

Odds and Ends

Last night I made Elvis Presley macaroni and cheese for dinner.  As we were eating it I mentioned that the recipe said it serves four, but I couldn’t imagine eating a quarter of the pan.  The C-man looked up and said “maybe it serves four Elvises.”


Part of Monday’s lunch conversation:

Princess O:  Quick, what is the most American thing you can think of?

The C-Man:  Chinese food


The C-Man has The Croup.  It has been a while since his last episode, and of course that was at the house not at the apartment.  So at 3:30 this morning I rolled out to Wal-Mart to get a vaporizor.  When I checked out the woman said “Thanks and have a great night”.

I was thinking to myself “I am buying a vaporizer at 3:30 in the morning.  This is not shaping up to be a “great night”.  So, thanks but I have other plans.


Elvis Presley Macaroni and Cheese

  • 8 ounces of elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups of crumbled American cheese
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 and 1/2 tbs butter

Preheat oven to 375.  Cook the macaroni until tender and drain.  Add flour, mustard and 1 cup of cheese to the pan and stir until the cheese is melty.  Add salt and pepper.  Pour milk into the pan and stir until well blended.  Pour into a casserole dish, dot with butter and top with the rest of the cheese.  Bake for about 45 minutes.

from Are You Hungry Tonight?  (Elvis’ Favorite Recipes by Brenda Arlene Butler

An Incident at the Wal-Mart

What is wrong with people?

Today I had to do the grocery shopping, so I went to the Super Wal-Mart as I often do.  Not because I like Wal-Mart (because I don’t) but, well, just because.

Anyway, I was in line to check out when I heard a disturbance behind me.  Two women were having an argument.  It went something like this:

Woman A:  Get the f*** out of my way

Woman B: What did you say?

A: You heard me you stupid b****

B:  Go to h***

A:  Shut the f*** you stupid b**** you cut right in front of me

It went on like this for a while, until woman A threatened to punch Woman B in the face.  And not just in the face.  In the f***ing face.   Oh,  did I mention that Woman A was standing there with her (approximately) 4 year old daughter in the cart listening to every word?  Yikes.

Meanwhile I was standing there desperately trying not to make eye contact and hoping really really hard that they would not come to blows.  They did not.

And should I mention that not a single Wal-Mart employee said or did a thing to stop the two of them?  I mean, I am sure they are not supposed to intervene, but you would think somebody would have called security.  Nope.

What is wrong with people?


I am at the Mall of America today.  Well, not right now.  Right now I am in my hotel room, debating whether or not to go to the pool/hot tub.  I am also deciding if I want to go back to the Mall for dinner or order a pizza.  Pizza is winning.

I did some shopping, now I am tired.  Later I will watch a movie on my laptop.  Or maybe I will watch Eclipse on the pay per view.

Tomorrow:  Ikea


I had the best weekend not hiking or staying in huts.  It was awesome.  First, here is a picture of my bedroom at the hotel


Look at my lovely bed that I did not have to share or anything (I love you honey).  And here is the living room


Yes it was a suite!  And it was all for me.  Ha ha ha.

Saturday morning the front desk called and said they needed to move me to a different room.  I figured it was better not to argue, and they put me in a room on the 26th floor.  With a balcony.  Here is my spectacular view

Can you believe I went out on the balcony 26 floors up?  Neither can I

Eeep! That's a long way down.

I was very brave

So enough silly pictures.  I had a great time.  And I hardly did anything.  I poked around in Bay’s department store for a long time on Friday night.  That’s Bay’s as in the Hudson’s Bay Trading Company.  Very cool.

Then Saturday I had lunch with one of my F1 internet friends who lives near Toronto and that was really fun.

I did some more shopping on Saturday too.  I got some really cool earrings.  And I went to this yarn shop that I won’t name, but the people who worked there were the surliest grumpiest yarn store employees I have ever seen.  Whenever I go to Loopy or Chicks with Sticks everybody is so happy to see you and wants to help you.  Not this place.  But I bought some sock yarn anyway.  It is pink and orange and is not too bright…for Florida.

All in all, a fantastic weekend.  And the kids had a good time in New Hampshire too.

Say cheese

I had to get a new camera.  My old one is clearly dying a long slow death.  First my cell phone, now my camera.  I think I am starting to actively repel technology.  I fear for my laptop’s very life.  I should start emailing all my files to myself as a back up plan (actually I do that anyway with the important stuff).

I’m kind of sad about the camera though.  The two of us have been through a lot together, I took it to the 2006 and 2007 Formula 1 races in Indinapolis.  I took pictures of Fernando Alonso with this thing!  I took it to the Cubs playoff disaster in 2008, plus other adventures and misadventures at Wrigley Field.  And most importantly, I took it to Rome, and took it everywhere I went.  It was a good little camera and I will miss it.

I found one I liked at a big box store, but I didn’t buy it right away because that is not how I roll.  I wrote down the model number in one of my many handy notebooks and then came home to surf the internet and make sure I was getting the Best Possible Deal, and that the camera didn’t suck.

I ended up ordering the camera from an online retailer.  Not because there was much of a price difference, but because online I could get an orange one.  How cool is that?

My new toy should arrive just in time for my birthday.  Happy birthday to me.


Communication has been restored

I had to buy The Princess and I new cell phones this week.  Mine had to be replaced because my old one had died a slow and annoying death.  Princess O lost hers.  I know, I know, shocking behavior.

I got her another one just like it and transferred her account  so the story has a happy ending.  I realize that according to her contract she should have ponied up for half of the phone, but I cut her some slack. Why?  I’ll tell you, because it’s possible that I lost it.  I had been borrowing it while my phone was on the decline.

Now my situation was slightly more complicated, because I was not just changing phones, I was also changing providers.  Tom told me yet again the other night that I should get an iPhone, but I did not.  I do not need an iPhone and despite a severe case of gadget lust I did not get one.  Yay me.

I needed to change providers so I would have a phone that works in Canada.  We will be there for a month this summer, and also for the Canadian Grand Prix this June and every June for the next three or four years.  And how am I supposed to call up Fernando Alonso at the Canadian Grand Prix if my cell phone doesn’t work in Canada?  Of course, not having his phone number might be a bigger obstacle there.  But never mind.  I digress.

So after I had settled on a provider I was looking at the available phones.  And this particular provider has a phone called the Motorola Renew.  It is allegedly environmentally friendly, made of recyclable plastic and carbon neutral somehow.  And I thought to myself, I should get this one.  But I hated it.  First of all it wasn’t a flip phone, and I like flip phones, and it didn’t have a camera and it was kind of small and I just didn’t like it.  Here it is, see what you think:

So I chose a different phone instead.  A flip phone, with a camera. This probably makes me a terrible person.  Global warming is now all my fault, just because I wanted a flip phone.

The C-Man still does not have a phone, and he would like all of you to know that he finds this grossly unfair.

Happy Earth Day

I went shopping at Target on Sunday, and they gave me a free reusable shopping bag.  I love those things!  And this one is really cute, see:

It’s made of recycled PET bottles.  How cool is that?  The C-Man was looking at it the other day and I told him it was made of recycled Coke bottles.  He said, “Oh.  My.  Gosh.  Diet Coke?”

That’s my boy.  He knows his mom so well.  I said I didn’t know but maybe.

He said, “Mom, maybe you drank all those Diet Cokes, and they turned the bottles into this bag, and now you have the bag.  Wouldn’t that be cool?”

Yes.  Yes it would.

A tale of woe

I am having low self esteem today.  I had to go swimsuit shopping.  Oh the horror.

And it wasn’t even the really awful kind of swimsuit shopping.  I was not searching for the perfect “sitting by the side of the pool looking cute” swimsuit.  You know, that suit that never actually gets wet.

No, I was just looking for a plain old practice suit for swimming at the gym.  A lap suit does not need to look cute.  In fact, I think this may be impossible.  Nobody looks cute in those things.  You just want it to fit.  Everything else is secondary.

But no matter what kind of swimsuit you are buying you have to try them on.  And I am definitely not looking my swimsuit best.  It is March.  I have not even seen the sun since about Halloween.  I am so pale it is frightening.  And I am not even the good kind of sparkly vampire pale, I am just pasty.  And pasty is never a good look.  And the fluorescent lights in the sporting good stores changing rooms are not terribly flattering.  It was a bad situation.

Next time I will know better.  I have written down the brand name and size of my new suit.  So when this one falls apart I can just go online and order a new one, and save myself a lot of self-doubt.

*Tom says he thinks I look very cute.  But he has to say that doesn’t he?