Monday, April 21, 2008

Dude....I'm calling the headquarters for Cracker Jacks

(I have a blog stalker....his name is Gene. He complained to me tonight that I hadn't done my part in entertaining him in his moment of boredom by updating my blog. This is for you, Gene....)

What ever happened to the really GOOD toys in a bag of Cracker Jacks? This is a question worth exploring after my sweet tooth won over my best efforts of watching calories tonight. As I happily tore in to a bag of Cracker Jacks, my excitement was quickly snuffed by a small booklet claiming to be my "toy surprise". As I further investigated my winnings, I decided this prize was way too much work for a simple piece of paper with a picture of a shark on it. After a series of detaching/folding/pushing/bending I was supposed to end up with something claiming to be a "smart mouth."

1. Detach prize and fold each corner toward you along the dotted lines.
2. Next, fold the prize in half, folding it away from you.
3. Then, push the center triangles forward to open the slit.
4. Push backward at points A and B. Then, hold the prize by the side edges and gently push toward the center to move the mouth.


I didn't realize I was going to need a masters in engineering with a minor in origami to play with my toy surprise.

Whatever happened to little plastic frogs or miniature magnifying glasses or metal soldiers or magic tricks? THOSE are the real toy surprises of yesteryear. But, alas! They have slowly been replaced with smart mouths or tattoos that if you are lucky will only require a small amount of spit and will resemble a 3 day old bruise after you rub that sucker for 10 minutes on the back of your hand. And those are the "best" ones. I guess with Nintendo and XBox and Wii there is no need for Cracker Jack to overextend itself trying to compete with these toy giants.

But still.

I guess I should have just had some M&Ms....

Saturday, April 19, 2008

OHMYGOSH!!!! I've been tagged!!!

I got tagged by Cassandra! I actually know what it means now that I'm the big professional blogger (yeah, right) and I'm all excited like a stupid little 5th grade girl (look over at my profile pic...that's me...5th grade...imagine it). And awaaaayy we go!!! (said in my very best Vince Fontane voice):

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Brief encounter with McDonalds
2. Clothing Store Manager (sounds really important...wasn't really all that)
3. Advertising Sales (most hated...even above McDonalds...hard to believe, I know)
4. Number-crunching, shift-working, completely out-of-character utility geek (my current job)

Four movies I've watched more than once:
1. Wizard of Oz (MUCH to the chagrin of my poor husband)
2. Grease (to the chagrin of my poor husband)
3. Napoleon Dynamite (to the delight of my kids because we are dorks like that)
4. Steel Magnolias (to the chagrin of ...... well, you know)

Four T.V. Shows that I watch:
1. Law and Order
2. Law and Order SVU
3. Law and Order Criminal Intent
4. Andy Griffith Show reruns (after the cancellation of Law and Order Trial by Jury)

Four places I have been:
1. Red Bluff, CA (vacation paradise, baby!)
2. Maui (I'm not even sure I was actually's all a blur)
3. To the bathroom about 30 minutes ago
4. Las Vegas (and yes...what happened is staying there)

Four People who e-mail me (regularly):
1. My bff Linda
2. My boss (isn't that *fun*?)
3. My blog
4. Someone who seems pretty sure they can increase Troy's male unit

Four of my favorite foods:
anything with:
1. Sugar
2. Salt
3. Carbs
4. 500+ calories

Four Places I would like to visit:
1. Someplace with heat because it is bloody cold in this $*&#$ room
2. Blue Earth Minnestoa
3. Alaska (to see the Northern Lights)
4. Greece (I second that, Cassandra!)

Things I am looking forward to in the coming year:
1. Getting off work in 1 hour and going home to sleep
2. My son graduating high school
3. My son graduating high school
4. Living less than 2 hours away from my husband
5. My son graduating high school
6. My son graduating high school

So now I guess I have to tag someone! Hmmm...okay I tag:
1. Jes
2. Ashley
3. Cathy
4. Amy Monika Becky Oscar Nancy

Okay...I cheated on #4, but I'm excited so just work with me people

One of these things is not like the other...

This list represents the most recent iTunes downloads from my family:
  • Shake Hands With Beef
  • Have a Cigar
  • Pudding Time
  • Frizzle Fry
  • Too Many Puppies
  • Dookie Wit It
  • Rippah
  • In the Heart of the Ghetto
  • Jellikit
  • 867-5309/Jenny
Which of these items do you think was mine? =P

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thoughts for Thursday

I have exactly 30 minutes left of my Thursday.....can we talk nicknames?

I have been moving furniture around in my house all day to prepare renting one of my rooms out. I know this of the boys' friends. His name is Hoppi. His father passed away and his step-mom is moving out of state and shoved him out the door in to the big world of grownups. And since I've always taken in strays, (animals and humans alike..not necessarily always in that order) Hoppi landed on my doorstep.

Now, I'm pretty sure that Hoppi isn't his *real* name, but it's the only one I know right now. (I know you are asking yourself why in the world I would let a 19 yr. old come live with me when I don't even know his full name...the answer is because I *know* him...I just don't know his first AND last name) I've told the boys on more than one occasion that if someone ever came to my door to ask questions about any of their friends, there aren't very many of them that I could use an actual first and last name for.
  • Hoppi
  • Slowy Joey
  • Black Man
  • Goober
  • Cartoon Cody
  • Skitz
  • Skeeter
  • Toki
  • Topher (I actually know this one...chrisTOPHER Guinn)
  • AJ
  • MathBoy (his last name is Mathayo)
There is actually one girl in that list, but the other girls that come around (there are many) don't have any nicknames..that I've heard, anyway. That's probably a good thing.

I had nicknames growing up, too: fang, bugs, Mac, Shaymac, Cheri Berry, and Scary Cheri are the ones I remember most. I outgrew most of the names (Thank the good Lord)...but Mac and Shaymac stuck well in to my adult life. It is my brother's term of endearment for me. Much better than the one he has for our older sister....the other white meat. He refers to himself as "Cheri's brother". I just call him Steven.....or booger-brat-snot-pig. Yes. Still. I'm mature like that.

Sooo...did you have a nickname or two when you were growing up? Are you sometimes still called that? Do you love it or hate it? Do tell.....

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This gnarly beast...

is the reason the U.S. Postal Service required me to get a PO Box.


Apparently the beast (we'll call him Hamish - pronounced "Hay-mish"...because it really is his name) was out in the driveway about 2 months ago when the postman came walking up with my mail. Hamish let out a big 'ol vicious bark and the rest is history.

Now what most people do not know (and the rest of what makes this so funny) is that Hamish really has no voice. He was a "rescue" dog (and already named, because I know you are wondering, after this Braveheart character) and his vocal chords were cut when he was a puppy. Now before you go getting all PETA on me, I want to clarify that he does have a voice...just a very raspy one. Very similar to Bette Davis after binge drinking and smoking 12 packs of cigarettes in a night. Or the Godfather with a bad case of laryngitis. Either way, you get the picture.

Now that you have this mental image of the beast and his mighty ferociousness, let's go back to the day my postman was walking up the driveway. So there he is, mace in hand with the Bette Davis Gnarly Beast barking (hacking) up a storm telling my 17 yr. old son to call him off.

My son laughed at him.

Ticked the guy off more.

And now I am required to drive to the post office everyday to get my mail. I had to fill out a forwarding address card and notify everyone and their brother that may send me a piece of mail that my address has changed. It's a huge inconvenience at best.

Maybe if I get rid of my teenager instead of the dog they will start delivering to my house again.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Things that make you go "Hmmmmm....."

So why in the world would I want to continue doing business with a company that openly admitted they have been overcharging me for a service SINCE OCTOBER....but will do nothing to rectify that? And still fully expect me to pay a $640 phone bill (the third one in as many months)?


"Thank you for being a loyal and valuable customer, Mrs. Pryor" was what I heard as I canceled my 4 phones with AT&T/Cingular Wireless tonight after 6 years of doing business with them. My response? "Well, thank YOU for treating this loyal and valuable customer like shit." (Yes, my exact words in case you wondered.)I was also asked that, if called by a customer survey rep, would I be able to say that my issues and concerns were handled to my satisfaction. My response? "Well, nothing against you personally, but if your company calls me I will have NOTHING GOOD to say about anything that has taken place between us in the last 3 months. Soooo....your company can call, but it won't be pretty." (Yes, my exact words in case you were still wondering.)

*insert chirping crickets here*

And for the benefit of anybody that may be reading this, when you tell AT&T/Cingular that you would like UNLIMITED TEXTING applied to a specific phone number, make sure they understand what you mean by UNLIMITED. Apparently there are two different kinds of unlimited with them. In-network and out-of-network. And by saying (and I quote) "I want my daughter to text her little freakin' heart out to whomever she wants and I don't give a crap WHO she texts." you STILL need to confirm that you want the $20/mo service and not the $15/mo service. And then you want to confirm (even after they say this out loud to you...I'm telling you to repeat it and have them repeat it again) that the new feature will begin PRO-ACTIVE TO THE BEGINNING OF THE CURRENT BILLING CYCLE. Not beginning immediately, but pro-Active to the beginning of the CURRENT billing cycle. Say it with me, readers. Say it out loud. And make them repeat it back. Because "beginning immediately" might mean the last 5 days of the billing cycle and you are going to explode when you get your THIRD $600+ phone bill in a row.

Actually, do yourself and your blood pressure a favor and just DON'T do business with AT&T/Cingular Wireless.

They are the giants of the Wireless industry. And I am merely David with my slingshot and stone....but a friend suggested I call the local news station that does "Call 3 Problem Solvers". They love this kind of stuff. I would love to hear how the AT&T/Cingular PR Damage Control folks spin this.


Oh...and Thoughts for Thursday?

I prayed for patience recently.

I got to practice being patient with AT&T tonight. I got transferred 4 times, was on hold not talking to anyone for a total of 35 minutes, total call time was almost 1-1/2 hours...and I couldn't call them from my cell phone because they turned my service off for non-payment of the $640 bill I was disputing.

God is funny.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thoughts for Thursday


I really have just one special thought today. Linda's (my bff of 35 years) mother.....Flo. She is in a better place since God called her home last Wednesday. She is healthy again. No more pain. No more dialysis. No more strict diet. She is with her husband, her son and her parents. I have no doubts that she is getting on a mean game of basketball (she played in college) and having SOOO much fun styling her very *own* hair. She is full of joy. Linda and I have talked about how she would be mad that a fuss was being made over her. We chuckled a little over that. So typical of her.

So on Saturday there will be a celebration of her life. Flo lived a good and full life and what is not to celebrate about that? This woman touched so many lives with her thoughtfulness, never-ending selflessness, love and compassion that it would be difficult NOT to be sad. But she deserves to be celebrated, lifted up in song and remembered not with tears, but with joy.

My heart aches for Linda over the loss of her mother. I am sad beyond words for her and what a huge void this will leave in her life. But I am forever grateful just to have known this woman and to have had such a special influence in my life as child/teen/adult.

God Bless, Flo. You will be missed.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Getting Ready to Graduate Child #2


Yup. That's right. I'll be graduating him. Just like I graduated the first one....with a hot cattle prod between his legs until the deadline of May 23 reveals he has completed all his required units.

May 23, people. That's only 51 days. And my dear son has a WHOLE LOTTA MATH to complete by then.

(Enter cattle prod)

For those that aren't aware, Nathan is in an independent study program through the school district. This means that a traditional school setting didn't work out so well for him. Or he didn't work out so well for it. (I honestly think it was a 50/50 split. He got bored early in his freshman year and got a little *cough-cough* preoccupied with disturbing other students during class. He got a class clown award the first semester. Sweet. And besides all that, you couldn't pay me enough to be in high school nowadays) Either way, he does the work at his own pace, goes to school 2 days a week to turn in his units and test. One unit of work = one packet for him to complete....5 units (packets) completes one semester of required work. Sometimes a packet takes him 1 hour and he can work through an entire semester of work in a week. Did you get all that? =P

But he isn't gonna get his math (Algebra) done that fast....and he has 18 units (18 packets) to complete.

Soooo...his teacher reveals this information to me today. I'm not surprised because the cattle prod has been hot for a few months. The answer to the dilema? We added another school day for him. He is now required to attend 3 days a week until the deadline so that he will finish everything.

And how does Nathan feel about all this? Well, the cowgirl holding the cattle prod doesn't really care how he feels about it, but surprisingly adding the extra day was HIS idea. He really wants to graduate ON TIME and does not want to extend his ceremonial walk to December. My kid is stubborn...and being stubborn and getting sidetracked in October and November is what landed him in this predicament. And he knows that. I will not be surprised if the ceremonial walk doesn't happen until December...but my son is just stubborn enough to make it all happen in May.

Either way, he's gonna need some ointment for those burns.
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