Friday, December 31, 2010

Flash Bulb Friday


Happy New Year's Eve!
 
Somehow, it just felt right to post a Christmasy picture today. It'll be the last one until next year, right? The reason behind this photo is that I'm still feeling cruddy about my decision to bail on Christmas with my family. I promise this will be the last mention of it though! I don't want to dampen the spirit of today's awesome holiday! It's a fresh start and a new beginning and it's time to leave all the crappy things that happened in 2010 behind us and celebrate the life and wonderfulness ahead!
 
Plus, I figured a train could symbolize moving forward, right? Eh... who am I kidding? There's no real, honest symbolism behind this. I pretty much picked it because I didn't want to post any photos from past New Year's Eve parties where my friends were drunk on the floor or puking in the bushes or humping random bartenders. Oh, the good old days!
 
So here's to a safe, but fun, new year's eve!
 
Rum for everyone!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Year in Review

It became sort of a tradition on my old blog to post a year-end recap of all the exciting things that happened throughout the year. A look back at the wacky, wild, and wonderful year of 2010 in the life of Gail & Puff!
 
January - Welcomed in the new year by spending 4 straight days sick on the couch, while rocking the most hideous plaid PJ pants you have ever seen. And I decided I still hate boats.
 
February - A hoity-toity restaurant misplaced our Valentine's Day reservation but we also visited a museum with lots of naked lady paintings, complete with some monster bush.
 
March - Sported a tiara and pink veil while drinking lots of rum with my college buddies. Oh, the good ol' 420 days relived!
 
April - Sported a tiara and pink veil while drinking lots of rum with my high school buddies and my ex-boyfriend. Nothing weird there.
 
May - Donned the white dress, took lots of fun photos at an abandoned building, married my best friend, drank some rum, ate some cake, and had a grand ol' time. Topped it off with a week away in the Caribbean. Even though neither of us like the beach. Or boats.
 
June - Kimhead got to shake hands with the lead singer of Lifehouse and I was crazy ass jealous. My parents came to town, as did The MIL, and we had a ridiculously pointless follow-up reception. On the bright side, my parents took us out for more rum afterwards. I swear I'm not a drunkard. Celebrations, like marriage, just involve some alcohol from time to time!
 
July - Puff and I went to Hilton Head with some friends and tried to go sea kayaking. It kicked our butts and we hated each other for it. We will be headed straight to divorce court if we ever have to do that again. Then we went to Chattanooga to look at black-lit gnomes and I got hit on by a tour guide in a cave. In front of my husband. And he didn't even try to cock-block the guy. I married such a sweetie!
 
August - August is hot and sticky and gross in South Carolina. So we didn't do much. The one day we did try to get out to the mountains, it ended up raining. I had a big week at work too. And it made me hate women. More so than I did already.
 
September - I started this blog in full force and got to share with you the ridiculous feats of Puff... like horseback riding around a ring and camping in our backyard. We went to an apple festival where I gorged on apple fritters. Almost made the hour drive, paying a ridiculous fee to park, and dodging 920834309 people in a crowd worth it. Almost.
 
October - What didn't we do in October? Race cars, good friends, food festival, trip up north, friends, weddings. And the weather was perfect. Maybe I wish it was October all the time.
 
November - Epic temper tantrum from The MIL, moving my best SC friend 100 miles away, and my normal hatred for Thanksgiving ensued. Yeah, I pretty much loathe November.
 
December - Great "Hell Week" at work followed by lots of festive fun for Christmas. Yeah, so I technically feel like I missed Christmas, but it wasn't that bad overall. Next year, we're staying in The Fort even if we have to drive back in 19034 feet of snow. I'm pretty sure my SUV can handle that, right?
 
So... our NYE plans are a late dinner at our favorite seafood restaurant, where I can orgasm over blackened halibut and get drunk on the best raspberry martinis in town. Then a weekend full of things only married people do, like outlet mall shopping & a scheduled movie date. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Regret Me Not

Sometimes in life, we make decisions that we immediately regret. I have made it a point ever since my senior year of high school to try to live by the lyrics of a Robbie Williams song that says "No regrets, they don't work. No regrets, they only hurt." Why? Well, because gosh darn-it, he's totally right!
 
With the threat of 3 inches of snow through all of Kentucky (including the rural parts) and snow & sleet in the mountains of North Carolina, Puff and I made the difficult decision on Christmas Eve to leave The Fort early and drive back to SC. Meaning, we completely missed Christmas with my mom's side of the family. You know... the part of Christmas that makes it feel like Christmas. The part I look forward to most every year. The part that I'd been hyping up to Puff for months to get him prepared for the excitement and fun. Yeah... we fucking missed that part.
 
And I regretted the decision immediately. Especially when we went by my Granny's house on our way out of town to pick up our gifts. She was so sad. I almost cried. It was ridiculous. Right then and there, we should have changed our minds. But the thought of getting stranded on the side of the road in Podunk, Kentucky, and having to wait 14 hours for a tow truck while having to pee in a Ziploc baggie just didn't really appeal to me. And when I look outside now and see 2 inches of snow (or more??) on the ground in South Carolina, maybe it was the right decision. (They were saying last night those curvy, rural, inhospitable mountains we drive through could have gotten up to 12 inches!)
 
But yes, I rarely regret anything in my life. I can probably list less than 3 things that really, honestly made me upset for a long time that I truly, 100% regretted. It just sucks that missing Christmas had to be one of them. The phone call yesterday from Granny telling me how disappointed everyone was didn't help either. But at least I had my husband. We were together and safe and cozy in our warm house, while the snow fell outside. And I know it could have been a lot worse. It was a lot worse for other people out there.
 
Every once and awhile I throw myself a pity party. And I'm in the midst of this one still.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sound Bite Sunday

I'm sure I've got lots to update about the holidays, but for today, just a simple sound bite. Shinedown is a band I found out I liked for a really odd reason... Chris Daughtry on American Idol. He sang one of their songs during his season and when I liked it, I went out and bought the Shinedown CD. From there, I became a huge fan. Yes, they are pretty hardcore, even though they've had a few recent songs with mild success in the Top 40. However, one major difference between them and a lot of other modern rock bands... the lead singer, can actually sing. This is one of my faves of theirs to show off his vocal chops. Enjoy!
 
"Call Me" by Shinedown
 

Wrap me in a bolt of lightning
Send me on my way still smiling
Maybe that's the way I should go,
Straight into the mouth of the unknown
I left the spare key on the table
Never really thought I'd be able to say
I merely visit on the weekends
I lost my whole life and a dear friend

I've said it so many times
I would change my ways
No, nevermind
God knows I've tried

[Chorus]
Call me a sinner, call me a saint
Tell me it's over I'll still love you the same
Call me your favorite, call me the worst
Tell me it's over I don't want you to hurt
It's all that I can say. So, I'll be on my way

I finally put it all together,
But nothing really lasts forever
I had to make a choice that was not mine,
I had to say goodbye for the last time
I kept my whole life in suitcase,
Never really stayed in one place
Maybe that's the way it should be,
You know I live my life like a gypsy

I've said it so many times
I would change my ways
No, nevermind
God knows I've tried

[Chorus]
Call me a sinner, call me a saint
Tell me it's over I'll still love you the same
Call me your favorite, call me the worst
Tell me it's over I don't want you to hurt
It's all that I can say. So, I'll be on my way

I'll always keep you inside, you healed my
Heart and my life... And you know I try.

[Chorus]
Call me a sinner, call me a saint
Tell me it's over I'll still love you the same
Call me your favorite, call me the worst
Tell me it's over I don't want you to hurt
It's all that I can say. So, I'll be on my way
So, I'll be on my way
So, I'll be on my way

Friday, December 24, 2010

Flash Bulb Friday


Happy Christmas Eve! 

Today is the best holiday in my family. I get to spend part of the day with my dad's family opening fabulous gifts and then the evening is when all chaos breaks loose at my mom's family. There will be at least 20 of us, if not 30 of us, at my grandmother's house this evening, with a pile of gifts so high you can't walk around it. And plenty of bourbon slush for everyone! It's always my favorite holiday memory, and this is the first year Puff gets to experience it! It will be such a change from just he and the MIL only! 

Anyway... today's photo is just a reminder of someplace warm. Because gosh darnit, it's cold and snowy and gray here in The Fort! I'm ready for spring. Or I'm ready to be in Mexico. Either works just fine. 

From Choice, Not Chance, to you and your family... Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Puff's Quips

One recent Saturday, Puff and I scheduled a date night. However, I had to work during the day and a football game's dismissal was mucking up our restaurant plans. So we decided to skip lunch and eat dinner with the old folks. We pulled up to a booth at all of 4:15pm.
 
During dinner, I commented on the music they were playing and how it seemed odd and that I felt trapped in a soap opera. Moments later, when the song changed, Puff lit up.
 
"I know this song! This is Yanni!"
 
Imagine my shock and embarassment as he proceeded to inform me that when he was in high school, he used to drive around in his big ol' red Buick and jam to his Yanni cassette tape.
 
I married a dork. But I love him anyway. 
 
_____________________________________________________________

And a new one from last night...

Me: How does this sweater look?

Puff: You're showing a lot of boobs. You need one of those things. (Gestures to his neck/chest area)

Me: A dickie?

Puff: Yeah, kinda like a dickie. Something that the Duggar's would wear. I don't know. Um... like a promiscuity blanket.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nothing Says Xmas like a Zebra... Except Maybe a Peacock

A bulleted list of random, yet interestingly quirky, things that happened this past weekend in Atlanta...
  • During the funeral of The MIL's man-friend, they mentioned someone who used to be the Grand Poobah of the KKK years ago. Only in Georgia.
  • Apparently if you live in Michigan, you think 35 is balmy.
  • The MIL can buy my adoration with gifts, as she proved by buying me more than Puff for Christmas.
  • And lastly, when you live in a redneck part of town, nothing says "Merry Christmas" quite like a tacky light display. And yes, I made Puff get out of the car (twice) to take these pictures of their awesome animal display in their front yard!




Update: Totally forgot to mention the Yeti from "Rudolph" who had boobs and red lights for nipples! Christmas lights are totally badass. Love it! 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sound Bite Sunday

As a general rule, I totally hate Christmas music. I think it comes from working retail one year during the holidays and being forced to listen to the same obnoxious 8 songs over and over again... including one sung by Alvin & the Chipmunks!
 
That being said, I don't want to come off as a total grinch. So, I am suggesting a Christmas song from my favorite Christmas album of all time. Go ahead and try to judge me. This song isn't any worse than any other...
 
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays by 'N Sync
 
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas
Happy Holidays
We've been waiting all year for this night
And the snow is glistening on the trees outside
And all the stockings are hung by the fire side
Waitng for Santa to arrive
And all the love will show
'Cause everybody knows
It's Christmastime and
All the kids will see
The gifts under the tree

It's the best time of the year for the family
It's a wonderful feeling
Feel the love in the room
From the floor to the ceiling
It's that time of year
Christmastime is here
And with the blessings from above
God sends you his love
And everybody's okay
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas
Happy Holidays

Bells are ringing
It's time to scream and shout (scream and shout)
And everybody's playing cause school's out
Celebrating this special time we share
Happiness cause love is in the air

And all the love will show
'Cause everybody knows
It's Christmastime and
All the kids will see
The gifts under the tree
It's the best time of the year for the family
It's a wonderful feeling
Feel the love in the room
>From the floor to the ceiling
It's that time of year
Christmastime is here
And with the blessings from above
God sends you his love
And everthing's okay
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas
Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas
Happy Holidays

No matter what your holiday
It's a time to celebrate
And put your worries aside (worries aside)
And open up your mind (open up your mind)
See the world right by your side
It's Christmastime
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas
Happy Holidays
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas
Happy Holidays

It's a wonderful feeling
Feel the love in the room
From the floor to the ceiling
It's that time of year
Christmastime is here
And with the blessings from above
God sends you his love
And everything's okay
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas
Happy Holidays
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas
Happy Holidays
Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas
Happy Holidays

Friday, December 17, 2010

Flash Bulb Friday


HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!
 
Tacky, much? Wowza! In a suburb just outside of town, there is this dude in a subdivision who goes outrageously overboard with Xmas lights each year. Puff found an article about him in the paper and we've had to go for the past few years. Each year it gets better. He's gradually overtaking other people's yards and adding new things. He even has Smurf lights! How cool is that?!?!
 
But really, wouldn't you just hate to be his neighbor????

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sounds of an Angel

Waking up early on a Sunday morning with church looming ahead is about as exciting to me as discovering an ass pimple. However, this past weekend was a bit different. I awoke with giddy excitement. It was Puff's choral debut at our church. (Yes, I'm officially an associate member of a Baptist church. Commence hysterical laughter. I'll wait!) Anyway... he had been rehearsing with them for the last month or longer (since The MIL told him to join the choir so he doesn't lose his "gift") and it was time to shine and sing some Christmas cheer!
 
I had to meet him at church, since he had to get there early to suit up in his stylin' robe and purple scarf-thingie, and was thankful when a fellow member asked to sit with me. Even though you don't talk through church, it's always nice to have company. When the preacher announced the start of service, the members of the choir entered from the rear and walked into the aisle. They sang part of a song there. But I couldn't turn to look for Puff. Why not, you wonder? Because every last bit of me wanted to look at him and giggle. For some reason, it just struck me as the funniest thing he could have ever done.
 
But I'm still proud of him. The choir sounded great, he didn't noticeably fuck up anything (hard to tell though... lol) and he was happy I was there to support him. Even if I couldn't look him in the eye because I was trying so hard to resist making goofy faces.
 

Monday, December 13, 2010

I'm hungry...

One day recently, my boss and another co-worker were discussing their dinner plans. I joined the conversation by mentioning that night's menu was grilled steak and homemade au gratin potatoes. My boss looked at me like it was so weird to know what I was going to eat for dinner.
 
 
Let me back up a second and remind you of my undiagnosed, but oh-so-obvious, OCD. Sometimes, it's a hindrance. Puff will be quick to point out he sometimes hates me for having to sleep with a fan so I can hear the white noise and drown out all the other night sounds... namely his irregularly paced breathing. And don't even get me started on trying to sleep through rain... it's just impossible! But at other times, I think it really helps me. (In fact, I think it helps reign in my ADD, which is why that's also going undiagnosed!) I keep lots of calendars (typically 3, but at this time of year, it's 6, since we're so close to the new year) and DON'T YOU DARE think about writing on anything of mine with your unapproved handwriting. (Especially you, Kimhead! But that keeps me super organized and keeps me on top of everything and planned so I can be a good employee and structure my hectic life. And you can't really blame me for keeping a color-coded spreadsheet for my Christmas gifts. You know you want to pick on me, but really, you're just jealous that my OCD keeps me so organized that I can shop a year in advance and keep track of it all.

 
Back to that dinner conversation. When they probed a little bit more about my seemingly innocent plan for dinner, they came to find out that I may go just a wee bit overboard on the OCDness when it comes to groceries and such. The grocery list stays on the fridge and we add to it what we need. We try to only shop twice a month, so when it comes time to go to the store, I rewrite the list. So it's in chronological order of the layout of the grocery store. And yes, I walk through the store with my list and pen in hand and scratch off everything as we put it in the cart. (But surprisingly, I'm not a price hunter or coupon clipper.) But because we do this, I also do a menu for dinner twice a month. To me, it just makes logical sense. If you know what you plan to make for dinner each night, that sure makes the grocery trip a lot easier.
 
 
And don't tell me that you don't make your own menu! And that you don't type it up and hang it on the refrigerator.
 
 
OK, so maybe you don't. But dammit... 
 
 
Ahhh... just leave me alone!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sound Bite Sunday

I don't really have much of a backstory for this song today. I probably would have a good one if this song had come out before I met Puff. Somehow, it seems like it would be 100% relevant to my life. Thankfully, right now, it's not. However, I still love it.
 
"Learn my Lesson" by Daughtry
 
Tonight the sunset means so much
The one thing that you know you'll never touch
Like the feeling, the real thing
I reach out for that sweet dream

But somehow the darkness wakes me up
I've felt this emptiness before
But all the times that I've been broken
I still run right back for more

You'd think that I'd learn my lesson by now
You'd think that I'd somehow figure out
That if you strike the match
You're bound to feel the flame

You think that I'd learn the cost of love
Paid that price long enough
But still I drive myself right through the pain
Yeah, well it turns out, I haven't learned a thing

Sometimes I think I'm better off
To turn out the lights and close up shop
And give up the longing, believing in belonging
Just hold down my head and take the loss

You'd think that I'd learn my lesson by now
You'd think that I'd somehow figure out
That if you strike the match
You're bound to feel the flame

You'd think that I'd learn the cost of love
Paid that price long enough
But still I drive myself right through the pain
Yeah, well it turns out, I haven't learned a thing

Friday, December 10, 2010

Flash Bulb Friday


No, this isn't an homage to my favorite calendar (Studs & Spurs) but rather a fond memory of the weekend I got engaged. Because nothing says "I love you" quite like some armor.
 
On this Friday, one year ago, Puff and I were happily bitching about the cold weather in New York City on a long weekend getaway. Puff had lived in NYC for several years and loves to be there during the holidays. While it was definitely a fun (and memorable) trip, the part I loved the most was slipping that engagement ring on my finger and getting to giggle and squeal with delight. (Once we were out of the park and back in a warm car!)
 
The next day, Puff and I set out to explore The Met and I snapped this photo while we were wandering. There was a group of children sitting on the floor around this huge life-size display of a solider on horseback. They were all sketching their favorite parts. And this part was my favorite. And is since one of my all-time favorite photos I have ever taken.
 
I'm just happy I can explain to people that it was made even more special by the special life-changing moment that happened the night before!  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cowboy Hat Required

I AM SO EXCITED!!!!
 
Here's the deal... Puff and I have decided that in October 2011, we're going to try our hardest to make a trip to Lousiana happen. Why Louisiana, you ask? Only because they have the most badass event in the history of events... the Angola Prison Rodeo! (http://www.angolarodeo.com/)
 
I just started to do some research and have figured out flight options and how the whole long weekend would work. Fly into New Orleans and check that out, and then on the Sunday of the rodeo, drive to the Louisiana State Pen out in Bumblefuck to watch prisoners get the shit kicked out of them by a bull. I just want to squeal with delight!
 
But then, it gets even better! (Really, you're wondering. How could it get any better? Well, it can!) So, I'm on Mapquest looking up directions from New Orleans to Tunica and realize there's a line on the map that is very intriguing. To back up for one second... it's a life goal to hit all 50 states before I die. I'm not even 30 years old yet and have been to 42 of them. So, not half bad, right? Well, two states that have been eluding me that seem so close are Louisiana and Mississippi. Now, we figured this trip would easily knock our LA but then... that line! It's the STATE line! And it's only 6 miles from the prison!
 
So not only will I be able to go and buy prisoner arts & crafts and watch them play poker in front of a giant bull, I can also drive a mere 6 miles out of my way and pick up another state! Bring on Mississippi, bitches!
 
You better believe if Puff would let me right now, I'd be booking those plane tickets!!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gotta Get Me Some...


Best story of the week so far:

I returned a call from someone who had left me a message during my craziness last week. I just got back to the guy, but he was understanding. We got to talking that he needed me to send him some information about something upcoming in January. I asked him what his product was that his company sells.

His answer?

"High End Lubricant."

Enough said.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Don't Get Too Excited

It's now, officially, time to take the biggest sigh EVER.
 
::sigh::
 
(Somehow, that seems a little anti-climactic.)
 
Anyway... my week from Hell is finally over! In the end, it wasn't all that bad. Numbers were up, profits were up, most people were happy, and the few cranky-pants who weren't just won't ever see me ever again. And I'm totally OK with that.
 
I prep all year for this one week, but that doesn't ever make it any easier. Think about it like when you were back in college and it was finals week. Like when you were having late night cram study sessions, complete with delivery pizza and a Zima (plus Jolly Rancher) and you realize that maybe you should have attended more than two of your economics classes, even though the professor was a giant douche-canoe and you didn't understand anything he was saying. Plus that business building was so far from your dorm! (Er... residence hall. Happy University Lingo Nazi?) That realization that you've got to stay up all night, all week, to learn all that new stuff, plus take all those other tests, plus walk from one end of campus to the other on no energy, no sleep, and low blood sugar. Yeah... my week was kinda like that. Times ten. Although, I did lose 4 pounds. Always a silver lining, right?
 
So as I start to take control of my life again, get the house in order, and refuse to iron Puff's shirts for the week, I will now be on a more normal posting schedule. I'm BAAAAACK!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sound Bite Sunday

I survived my crazy-ass week! Yippee! Or at least I'm assuming I survived since I'm around to post this. I might not be all there mentally for a few days, or physically for that matter, but at least I still have my job!
 
I realized years ago that music has an overwhelmingly interesting affect on me at certain times. And stressful times are a key example. (Or depressed times. Or just being bored times.) But there is always one song I know I can jump in the car, crank up the volume, and drive around aimlessly listening to. And that song will always make me feel better. The best part is that my dad does the same thing. To the same song. And whenever he hears it come on the radio when he's out driving to a client or driving aimlessly to avoid being at home, he always thinks of me. And sometimes, he'll even call me and leave the "power chords" on my voicemail. My dad's pretty awesome.
 
And so, to mark the end of my hectic week and the return of my sanity, an ode to getting by and having fun too!
 
Peace of Mind by Boston
 

Now if you're feelin' kinda low 'bout the dues you've been paying
Future's coming much too slow
And you wanna run but somehow you just keep on stayin'
Can't decide on which way to go
Yeah, yeah, yeah


I understand about indecision
But I don't care if I get behind
People livin' in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind.

Now you're climbin' to the top of the company ladder
Hope it doesn't take too long
Can'tcha see there'll come a day when it won't matter
Come a day when you'll be gone


I understand about indecision
But I don't care if I get behind
People livin' in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind.

Take a look ahead, take a look ahead, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah...woa!

Now everybody's got advice they just keep on givin'
Doesn't mean too much to me
Lot's of people out to make-believe they're livin'
Can't decide who they should be.


I understand about indecision
But I don't care if I get behind
People livin' in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind.

Take a look ahead, take a look ahead. Look ahead.