Archive | December, 2004

Let It Snow!

30 Dec

It is DUMPING snow here! The snowflakes are HUGE! I get to go home early today because of it! The mountains could get up to 7 feet of snow!

We’re planning on skiing 2 days this weekend, and snow shoeing 1 day!

Woo!

I love exclamation points!

Celebrity Sighting

29 Dec

I forgot to mention that I met the drummer for Maroon5 over the weekend while in Palo Alto.

Well, sort of.

JB and I were out in front of his parents’ house, and saw a couple walking their baby down the street. It turned out that the man in that couple was an old friend of JB’s from high school.

We all stopped to talk, and it turns out that this friend, Matt, has been drumming for Maroon5 on their most recent concert tour. I guess the original Marroon5 drummer is injured, so he’s filling in until that drummer gets better.

I really like Maroon5. In fact, I went to their website today to see if I could find any pictures of Matt. Although I didn’t find pictures of him, I discovered that you can listen to all of their songs on their website. So, I’ve been jamming to them for about the past hour.

Matt also used to drum for the B-52s, which is also highly impressive.

Who would have thought we’d have a celebrity sighting in JB’s old ‘hood?!

The Name Change Mess

28 Dec

My #1 New Year’s Resolution this year is to fix the mess otherwise known as my name change.

It all got messed up when the DMV wouldn’t let me drop my first initial of A (because I go by my middle name), but the Social Security Department let me change my name to Lynnette Cook Bellin, because it seems that they truly wouldn’t care if I wanted to change my name to One Hot Babe.

I’ll need to go back to the Social Security office and change my name from Lynnette Cook Bellin (as I wanted it) to A. Lynnette Bellin (because the bureaucratic bastards got the best of me). Then, I can change my name at work from Lynnette Cook Bellin to A. Lynnette Bellin, and then finish off the process with changing my retirement accounts, frequent flier accounts, and my car titles.

Blek. It is amazing how messed up everything got in such a short period of time. I still can’t believe that the State of Nevada has me on record with a first name of A, and that it would take a court order to drop that A. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Poop In the Pot and a $300 Bottle of Wine

27 Dec

Like every year, Christmas flew by so fast that it almost seems like a dream. I had a wonderful first Christmas as a married woman, and truly enjoyed spending time with my in-laws. They make a big effort to make me feel part of the family, and they succeeded!

Christmas Eve was almost magical. After a scrumptious dinner of Chinese food, we went to an amazing Presbyterian church. It is so popular that people line up outside of the church to get in. They had a small orchestra, a huge choir, and tons of candles.

At one point in the service, we were asked to bow our heads and thank God for the blessings in our lives over the past year. I have been so unbelievably blessed this year that I had happy tears rolling down my cheeks as I thought of my husband, in-laws, the wedding, my nieces and nephews, and all of my family and friends. I had dreamed of spending the holidays with my soul mate for so many years that actually doing so was a big treat for me.

We took the three dogs with us to the in-laws’ house. For the most part they were good. One of them decided to tip over a flower pot and dig up the plant that was in the pot. JB and I discovered this, cleaned up the mess, only to find that the same pot was tipped over and the plant that was in the pot was dug up the next day.

Remembering that my obedience instructor had once said that placing dog poop where the dog is digging will stop them from digging, I put on some gardening gloves, collected dog turds, and then placed them neatly all around the plant in the pot.

JB and I then went on a bike ride, and that is when my mother-in-law, the avid gardner, discovered the poop in the pot.

She was very perplexed at how one of the dogs had managed to poop so neatly all around the plant. It’s actually a rather funny mental image.

Anyway, that was good for a laugh.

And then, our pup Tucker turned into Houdini while we were visiting with my brother’s family in Folsom, CA.

Because they have a dog, and we had our three with us, we asked to put our three dogs in the side yard so that they didn’t have to wait in the truck. Putting them in the side yard would ensure that that they wouldn’t disturb my brother’s dog.

Or so we thought…

While we were eating dinner, we kept hearing a knocking noise. After a few minutes, Jane said ‘I swear there is a dog in the laundry room.’ My brother’s dog, Clyde, was standing close to the laundry room door with his ears perked.

I got up to check, and the minute I opened the laundry room door, Tucker’s black nose poked out to greet me. This was very exciting for Clyde. Tucker had evidently discovered the doggie door into the garage, and we then assumed that he had pushed an unlatched door open to get into the laundry room.

After a good laugh, I put him in the garage again, made sure the door was latched, and went to sit down. About 10 minutes later, we started hearing that knocking noise again. Sure enough, Tucker was back in the laundry room. He had evidently figured out how to use their door knobs, which are handles (not round knobs).

So then I put him in the side yard, locked the door to the laundry room just in case, and about two minutes later, we saw Tucker’s face peering through the glass door in the back yard. He had somehow figured out how to open the gate into the back yard, and came around to greet us. Of course, he let the other two dogs out in the process, so we had our three black dogs staring down my brother’s dog through the glass door. Eventually, someone had the bright idea to put a few chairs in front of that door and drape a blanket over it so that the dogs couldn’t see each other. Try to get around that, Houdini Tucker!

So those are the dog stories.

Now for a wine story. My husband is getting very into wine, so we went to a local California beverages store called Beverages and More. Evidently, everyone calls it BevMo.

We spent A LOT of time in BevMo. Most of the time, I just wandered around, waiting for JB to make his selections. I then met him at the cash register when he was ready to check out, and my eyes bulged when I saw the total cost of that little excursion.

I was in shock as JB said he wanted to double check the receipt. We stood by the door of the store, and that’s when JB noticed there was a $297 item on our receipt.

After inquiring about that item, it was discovered that the cashier had keyed in a wine glass sku wrong, and had keyed in the sku for a $297 bottle of Opus 1, which evidently is a VERY GOOD bottle of wine. The store was jam packed so it took a while to get a credit back, but we had a good chuckle about ‘buying’ such an expensive bottle of wine.

So those are the funny stories of the weekend. Other than that, it was just another enjoyable holiday weekend, with staying up late and sleeping in, eating a lot of wonderful food, family time, and a few bike rides and runs thrown into the mix.

I hope all of you were as blessed as we were.

Christmas continues tonight, as we’ll be celebrating tonight with my parents, brother and sister-in-law and niece, Kacey.

Ghosts of Christmas Past

22 Dec

This will probably be my last posting before Christmas. I was thinking today about what I could write that would be original. So here it is…. A short list of some of my most vivid memories of Christmas from my childhood.

My Most Vivid Christmas Memory
Every Christmas Eve after church, my family (all five of us) would go over to my Great Aunt and Great Uncle’s house. I remember the car ride to their house this particular year. I was crammed in between my two brothers in the back seat, and someone said, ‘Look, Lynnette — up in the sky — it’s Santa!’

And I truly thought I saw a really bright light that I assumed was Rudolph’s nose leading Santa’s sleigh.

In Pursuit of Santa
I think there were several years when I tried to wait up and see if I could catch a glimpse of Santa. One year, I hid behind my Dad’s recliner chair by the fireplace. I remember being there in the middle of the night, but I don’t ever remember being caught.

Christmas Morning
Being the youngest kid in the family, I was always the most eager to get up early to see what Santa had brought. Each year, my parents told me that I was not allowed to go into the family room where the presents were until my brothers were with me. That means that I had the task of waking up my brothers, who are seven and nine years older than me.

I tried a variety of tactics, from shaking them and saying, ‘It’s Christmas, it’s Christmas — Santa came!’, to jumping up and down on their beds, or sending in our enthusiastic dog to lick their faces.

Once my brothers were awake, Mom would gather us three kids in the hallway that leads to the family room. Dad would be there waiting with his movie camera. It was one of those old cameras with a really bright light. When Dad was ready, we were allowed to walk into the family room, where each of us had a corner of the room filled with presents. There are countless home movies of us kids squinting into the camera while wearing our pajamas and discovering what Santa had brought us.

So with that, I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. Don’t ever lose the magic.

Geekdom

22 Dec

I am such a geek. I just pre-ordered a copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which isn’t even set to release until July. However, Borders is offering a 40% discount if you pre-order the book.

Only 7 months to wait!

Call Me Betty. Crocker, that is…

19 Dec

I spent my Saturday night baking sugar cookies, frosting them, and making almond marji candy and fudge. A regular Betty Crocker is what I am.

And I really need to get a life.

Unsubscribe this

17 Dec

Recent phone conversation…

Caller: “Lynnette, I’m calling regarding the creative you were supposed to send me by this past Wednesday.”

Lynnette: “Yes, I sent you that creative on Tuesday. Did you not receive it?”

Caller: “No, could you please resend it?”

Lynnette: “Are you sure? Let me check the e-mail address…” (I read him back the address to which it was sent).

Caller: “Yes, that is correct.”

Lynnette: “Well, maybe it went into your junk mail filter.”

Caller: “No, I receive every message that goes to that address. I don’t have a filter. I haven’t seen that message.”

Lynnette: “OK, I’ll resend it.”

Now what the caller didn’t know was that I had sent the creative through our HTML e-mail system, meaning I could see that not only had he viewed that creative that I had sent him, but he then UNSUBSCRIBED from my HTML e-mail list.

So if you’re going to have the gall to do that, please don’t call harrassing me about deadlines.

Yum

17 Dec

My favorite snack as of late:

Slice up a Fuji apple and top with natural peanut butter.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…….

(In other words, I really don’t have much to say today. Check back on Monday!)

I’m A Lady Executive

16 Dec

I went grocery shopping yesterday after work. While looking at yogurt, I had an older woman approach me.

“You look like a lady executive.”

It caught me off guard, but I smiled, and said thank you.

“Are you a lady executive?”

“I’m trying to be.” I responded. I wouldn’t classify manager level as executive quite yet.

“Well, I’m a photographer,” she said, “and I saw you earlier in another aisle, and I thought to myself, ‘now that is a lady executive’.”

I said thank you, because I assume it was a compliment, and I went on my way.

I seem to be attracting the attention of older ladies this month. (Refer to the Polish Nose comment.) Perhaps I just look approachable.

So what was I wearing to generate such attention? Well, I must have looked a bit Euro, as I was wearing the orange sweater and white scarf I bought in Italy. I had paired those with a black suede skirt, black hose, and heels. I was also wearing my black leather jacket. So there. That’s what a lady executive looks like.

Where I Belong (Song Dedication)

15 Dec

While listening to the radio today, the lyrics of this song struck me. It’s kind of along the same lines as my last song dedication, but you get the gist. So, this song is dedicated to JB.

Where I Belong
by Rachel Proctor

I’ve wished a million wishes on a big empty sky
And I’ve spent too many endless nights alone
Wondering if I was broken and why everything felt so wrong
And where do I belong

I see beyond the end of time when I look into your eyes
It’s so much bigger than this life and everything’s right
I feel so safe, safe as a child in your arms
This is where I belong

I’ve seen my share of troubles
And tears I’ve shed in vain
Watched my dreams crumble
But all along the way
Someone heard me pray

The house is quiet now and my heart is full
And all the ones I love lay fast asleep and I am complete
I turn out the light and I whisper goodnight
And I know, this is where I belong

Lobotomy?

15 Dec

On the way to work this morning, I was cut off by someone driving a truck with Lobotomy Racing decals all over their truck. After driving behind them for about 20 minutes and starting at the LobotomyRacing.com URL, I decided to check it out. In the Fun Stuff section, you can participate in ‘Rate My Scar’.

Interesting…

Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease

14 Dec

My brothers/sister-in-laws gave me a rockin’ digital camera for Christmas last year. On our honeymoon, the LCD screen on the camera completely crapped out, and I swear I hadn’t done anything to it.

It is technically still covered by warranty, so I mailed it to Olympus. Weeks later, I received a bill for $114 to fix the camera, because LCDs are not covered under warranty.

People, don’t mess with me.

I wasn’t going to take that for an answer. I called and spent a lot of time on hold and requested to speak to supervisors, saying, ‘Now isn’t that handy if you don’t cover LCD screens. Then you can just crank out crappy LCD screens and then make money on the repairs.’

Really, I was nice about it, but today, after a second half hour long call to customer service (most of it spent on hold), I finally got the repair fee down to NOTHING, and all I have to pay is $6 shipping.

Now that’s more like it. I told the service guy there, Ed, that he rocks.

It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes to get my camera back now…

Honey, Where is the Remote?

13 Dec

Last night, while watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Special, the phone rang. When I answered the phone and discovered it was for me, I moved into the bedroom so as to not interrupt JB’s enjoyment of the movie. I turned the movie on in the bedroom, so that I could talk on the phone and keep up with the movie at the same time.

I’m all about multi-tasking.

After I hung up, I specifically remembered leaving the TV remote for the bedroom TV on the bed, and then I took the phone and placed it on its cradle.

About a half hour later, JB started asking where the bedroom TV remote was. I told him it was on the bed.

“No, it’s not.”

So I got up and walked to the bedroom. On the bed, I saw the telephone. That’s when a little light went off in my head.

Did I?

I walked over to the phone cradle, and found the TV remote placed neatly on the phone cradle.

Sometimes I just have to wonder what is going on in my own brain. That was a classic.

Just Another Manic Monday

13 Dec

The only thing keeping me going this Monday morning is the thought that next week is a short week due to the holiday. Monday mornings are just plain tiring.

We made it back to the ski slopes yesterday. It was so nice to be out in the crisp, clean air with gorgeous scenery all around us. However, it reminded me that I need to concentrate more on leg exercises at the gym.

Saturday night was the office Christmas party, and I was so happy not to have to go stag this year, as I have for the past two years. I brought my handsome husband, who looks absolutely scrumptious in his new suit. I added a bit of snaz to my usual red holiday dress with my wedding rhinestone jewelry and a black shawl. I must say that we looked smashing together. But then again, I am a bit biased.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that some friends of ours were in the band playing at the Christmas party. I think JB was most pleased, as it meant he actually had someone at the party that he knew.

Well, that’s the update for this Monday morning.

OK, Scrouge, You Win

7 Dec

I came home tonight and felt the needles on the new Christmas tree, and the entire branch full of needles fell off in my hand. We had yet another dead Christmas tree on our hands.

After dinner, I took the tree back to the lot and requested my money back. I then decided to go to Costco to get a fake tree. I think we’re just not meant to have a real tree.

Of course, Costco was out of fake trees, so I opted to just pick up some photos I had developed there. In with my photos were two rolls of photos of buffalos. That’s right, buffalos. Not my pics.

It was 8:30, Costco was closing, and they had tried to charge me for two rolls of buffalo pictures in addition to my pictures. It took over 20 minutes for them to track someone down and adjust the price. I can’t tell you how many people asked me if I wanted to keep the pictures of buffalos.

I then went to Lowes, where I discovered that fake trees cost a good $200, so I came home empty handed.

I then vaccuumed (for the fourth time since Sunday) all of the needles up, and decided to put the Christmas tree lights on a palm tree house plant. When I got all of the lights on the tree, it leaned over droopily, so I decided the lights had to come off. While I was taking the lights off the house plant, I got a strong shock from a broken bulb’s fuse, which made me scream. I ended up sitting on the living room floor in tears.

It’s not supposed to be this hard. All I wanted was a real Christmas tree. When it was obvious that we couldn’t have a real Christmas tree, I decided to settle for a fake one. And I wasn’t successful with that mission, so I tried to make a houseplant a Christmas tree, and once again, I failed at that.

I give up. I’m getting out the 2 foot tall fake tree I’ve used for the past few years. I apologize in advance to my parents, who made the effort to Fed Ex me all of my childhood Christmas ornaments. They’ll have to wait for a year when karma isn’t working against me.

Bahumbug, Christmas Tree

7 Dec

What could be more romantic than shopping for a Christmas tree with your new husband, putting it up and decorating it?

Many things, evidently. The quest for a Christmas tree to mark our first Christmas together has been one giant pain in the butt.

It all started on Sunday, when I declared that I really wanted to go Christmas tree shopping. Unfortunately, JB is still recovering from the flu, so we made it out to the Christmas tree lot when it was about 18 degrees, and the poor man couldn’t stop coughing.

Which means we were in a big hurry to just get a tree and go home. And that is what we did. I swear at the time, the tree seemed to be fresh.

We got home, and put the Christmas tree in the stand. And the problem, you see, was that the tree wouldn’t stand in that stand. JB then cut off the bottom limbs of the tree in an effort to make the tree stand up in the stand, and it didn’t work. What did happen was that there was a huge bald spot at the bottom of the tree.

So, my wonderful, sick husband volunteered to go to Lowes right around the corner and get a new stand. He was gone about 45 minutes.

When he came back, he informed me that Lowes was closed, so he had driven all the way to the other side of town to get a stand at Walmart. He picked out a stand, waited in line, and when it came time to pay for the stand, he realized he had forgotten his wallet at home.

Like I said, the man is sick.

So anyway, he drove all the way home, and I suggested that the closest grocery store, Smith’s, would have a stand. He then drove there, to find that the didn’t, so he drove another few miles to Rayley’s, that had a stand that cost almost as much as the tree.

At this point in the story, I must mention that I had vaccuumed that day.

JB finally got home with the new stand, and it worked (hallelujah!). We put the tree up, and I began stringing lights. I thought it was strange that there were so many needles falling off of the tree, but shrugged it off and vaccuumed after I was done.

I came home on Monday to JB saying the tree ‘wasn’t going to make it’. I shrugged him off, thinking he was just being negative because he didn’t feel well.

I then walked over to the tree, and saw a humongous pile of pine needles below it. I ran my fingers over a branch, and all of the needles fell off in my hand. The thing was deader than a doornail.

That was the point that I just got mad. I mean, setting up a tree was supposed to be all fun and romantic. And all it had done for both of us was cause a mess and make us grumpy.

Right about then, JB got a phone call, and I was a woman on a mission. I took the tree out of the stand, and threw it in the truck, and drove straight over to the Christmas tree lot.

At this point, it was about 8:00 pm and I still hadn’t eaten dinner. I’m not a pleasant person when I’m hungry. Just ask my husband.

I ranted and raved to myself the entire drive over to the Christmas tree lot, and prepared the speech I was going to give to them.

When I got to the lot, there weren’t any customers, and there was one guy there in a trailer with his dog. He was about my age, and came out with a smile.

And I guess I couldn’t really be the scrouge that I felt like, so I told him cordially that we had bought a tree from him the day before and that it was dead. He went to look at the tree, and apologized, saying that with the cold weather we’ve had lately, some of the trees froze, which killed them. Once you get them in a warm place is when you really find out if they died or not.

He then helped me pick out a new tree that supposedly had just been unloaded from the truck, and was in the middle of the pile of trees, so it shouldn’t have frozen. And hence, this one should live.

I brought it home, and we spent the next half hour vaccuuming and sweeping the horrendous amounts of pine needles left by the previous tree. When that was done, we put the tree in the stand, and we both decided that we had had enough ‘tree’ time that night, so we just let it stay in its undecorated state. Plus, I wasn’t keen on the idea of getting it decorated just to have the same thing happen to it.

So far so good. And let me tell you, people, our house smells like a pine scented air freshener BLEW UP inside. I guess that’s what happens when you get so many pine needles in the house and then vaccuum them up.

I think I’ll now take to decorating the tree in stages, as I’m pretty darn close to calling the whole Christmas tree project off.

I have to admit that the thought of a fake tree crossed my mind multiple times last night.

Professional Me

6 Dec

All of the board members of the Reno-Tahoe American Marketing Association had professional head-shots taken. I went to the photographer last Thursday, and this is the result:

Lynnette 461-300pix.jpg

Lynnette 300.jpg

Word of the Year

2 Dec

Quote from this article:

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and other papers this morning ran a story stating that blog was the most common word visitors to Merriam Webster’s online site sought a definition for throughout 2004.

The mild irony, perhaps, is that blog is not yet in the dictionary; then again, its newness must be precisely why so many people looked it up.