Category Archive: Trials, Tribulations & Escapades (mostly funny)

Mar 13

Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Last summer my neighborhood had a salsa walk (it was probably June-ish, I imagine?).  In anticipation thereof, I bought a bag of tortilla chips from Target (Archer Farms brand), but since *everyone* had brought chips, mine mostly went uneaten (though I confess I did get lost trying to find the right street and busted the bag open as sustenance for the finding.  I have ZERO sense of direction.  Or maybe negative sense of direction, if that’s possible).

So, the chips went home again with me.  And they got brought out again a few says later when some of the folks on my street decided to congregate for hanging out and drinking wine (I *love* my neighborhood).  A couple more chips got consumed at that point, but mostly we had wine.  :-)

For the next month or two, every time I’d get that “want-salty-and-crispy” craving thing (which happens roughly once a week), I’d go and have a chip or three.  Strangely, the chips seemed unaffected by the passage of time in between the cravings, remaining crunchily delicious from one eating to the next.

Fast forward to September-ish when it dawns on me that I’ve now been noshing on the same bag of chips for three months.  At that point it seemed like the chips had some sort of “survivor gene” going on so I didn’t feel like I *should* chuck them.  Plus, honestly, they were still  really tasty.

It’s now March of the year after and I am somewhat sad to say that this afternoon I dumped the last of the chip crumbs into my mouth.  The chips are no more.

Goodbye, Mr. Chips.

(Yes, I do understand what an oddling I am that I would develop some strange respect/admiration for a bag of tortilla chips.  So much so, even, that I felt compelled to immortalize them on LiveJournal.  Sigh.)

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Feb 29

Only in my odd little world…

Remember how I made antlers for my Meep for a Christmas costume?
Remember how I lost an antler?

Someone wrote about finding my antler in a News & Observer article!!!:

Here are a few items the Crabtree Rotary Club found on the side of Glenwood Avenue on Saturday.

  • A business card for a Raleigh police sergeant
  • A bag of rotten celery
  • Reflectors torn up from the roadway
  • A pint-size drinking glass
  • A wrench
  • A reindeer antler from a car-top Christmas decoration
  • Two losing lottery cards
  • Crust from one slice of pizza
  • A pair of sunglasses “


I am sure it is too late to recover the lost antler (though that didn’t stop me from leaving a message from the guy quoted in the article) but GEEZ!  What are the odds?!?

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Jan 30

Random bits

OK, who had the genius idea of putting a major concert & sports venue on one of the two main roads into Raleigh?    I was stuck in Hurricanes (hockey) traffic for almost 40 minutes last night trying to get to trivia — yecch!

By the way, I will be in Toronto next week on business. Two business trips in three weeks, not having traveled for work in 5 years!  Big kudos to AmEx who overnighted me a card so I could actually book the trip within corporate guidelines!

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Jan 17

PSA: Check your wheels

Public Service Announcement:  Check Your Wheels!

No, not your *car* wheels, your ROLLERSKATE wheels!!    What do you mean, you haven’t rollerskated in 15 years?

Well, neither had I until last night.

And I was all shakey and flailing and windmilling my arms around and huffing and puffing and generally having a really rough go of it for the first two hours we ([info]aklikins and I) were at the rink.  I’d make it once around the track then have to pull over to the wall (blessed wall. happy wall.  nice, solid wall) to hang on for a while and pant.  Within the first 30 minutes I had to have a half a bottle of water *and* a half a bottle of Gatorade 1

Now, I know I’m not in the best of shapes.  And I know I’m a heck-of-a-lot older than I was the last time I did this.   Still, though, GEEEZ, it was *hard work*.  I must’ve told 20 people (as they were lapping me, of course) that this was a whole lot harder than I remembered it being.  At one point I looked at Adrian and said “It feels like I’m skating on wooden blocks!”

Fast forward to 9:30pm.  We’d been skating (me, quite courageously, I’ll add) for almost 2 hours by that time 2 and I had to take (yet another) a break.  I was leaning against the air conditioner vent (my new favorite skating rink place), when I crossed my legs and idly spun one of my wheels.

Which went about one-and-a-half rotations then stopped.

Gina: “Hey.  My wheel doesn’t spin”
Adrian:  (spins my wheel). “Wow, it doesn’t.”
Gina: “Try yours”
Adrian:  (spins his wheel.  Goes around and around and around and around it does)
Gina: (feeling like a bit of a dolt) “No wonder this was so hard!!!!”

So I went over to the skate shop, threw my leg up on the counter and asked them to fix it, please.3

They did, and I headed (with some trepidation — what if it *wasn’t* the wheel and I just *suck*?) back to the floor.  But hooray!!! Rollerskating *is* fun, after all!  Wheeeeee!

Now — who is up for a skating party?
(We’ll check all the wheels first!)

1 Note to self:  Orange Gatorade tastes like Tang and is pleasantly nostalgia-inducing.  The disco music and lights may have helped with that.
2 Minus, of course, the frequent “I-must-stop-and-rest-now” breaks.
3 Which they did by loosening the wheels (with the skates still on my foot, so I didn’t even have to relace!).

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Jan 10

Notes to self regarding sewing

One night last year I was doing some midnight-madness crafting, and apparently wrote myself a “lesson learned” note about sewing.  While searching for stashed Christmas presents recently, I found this note and so I’m including it here for my reference (and perhaps your amusement) — my updated comments/explanation are in itals.

To remember while sewing:

  1. Think about which direction you’re sewing in before you put the pins in (elsewise, as you’re sewing merrily along the little pinses will sneak up and pokify your fingers1)
  2. Figure out the size of the buckles you’re using *before* cutting the straps
  3. Line everything
  4. Don’t panic
  5. Use more pins — always
  6. Put all the the things (like straps) on before the final joining of lining to outside (yes, it’s the world of frustrating to turn your finished bag rightside out only to find you’ve neglected to add the straps in)
  7. Like riding a motorcycle, sew *ahead* of where you are (don’t watch the tips of your fingers — watch 5-6″ ahead of the foot)
  8. Stop with needle in down position (otherwise the fabric will sneak away when you turn your head)
  9. Leave lots of thread when you cut the thread at the end of a stitch line (otherwise, the thread will creep out of the needle and you’ll have to rethread)
  10. Making the iron hotter will *not* make things go faster
  11. Topstich everything
  12. If something has an inside and an outside, iron both pieces before proceeding
  13. STOP *before* the stupid starts (that one I’d do well to remember across the board)

1 Yes, I anthropomorphize a little…

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Dec 03


[info]aklikins and I were heading home from Ken’s Corny Korn Maze 1(which is *waaaaay* Southeast of Raleigh) and stopped at a Chick-fil-A for dinner.

The night manager was talking with a young Asian girl who was applying for a position.

I think the manager was trying to determine the applicant’s level of comfort with English when he asked:  “Where’d you learn to speak English at?”

1 It took us an hour and a half.  My excuse was that it was dark.

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Nov 05

Protected: How, for once, it wasn’t my fault when my foot got stuck in my mouth…

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Oct 23

A little disenchanted

I ate an apple for breakfast — healthy, environmentally friendly, etc.  Yah me! I am still a little disgruntled, though, because in my head apples are a “easy” food, requiring no extra cutlery nor plates nor cooking, whereas the reality is that they’re messy and sticky and you have to go immediately throw the core away because you can’t just put it down…like you could, say, an empty Pop Tart wrapper…

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Oct 15

I am certified!

(and don’t think I don’t hear you in the peanut gallery!)

For the past two weekends I’ve been down in Oriental, NC1, getting my “Basic Keelboat Sailing Certification” at the Oriental School of Sailing.  Unlike driving, you don’t actually have to have a “license” to sail; however if you want to charter a boat they usually want to see some sort of proof that you have at least a vague idea of how to work a sailboat.

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Sep 11

Either boyishly girly or girlishly boy-y

So last night I had to pull out the LAVA (for those that are unfamiliar, LAVA is pumice-containing soap made by WD-40 that seems to be most often found in garages) to clean my hands, which I’d thoroughly dirtied.  While making new lipstick blends.

(Great tip from Carmindy, of What Not to Wear fame:  if you have little stublets of great lipstick colors that you don’t want to throw away, you can use a day-by-day pill keeper to put them into, making your own custom palette.)

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Aug 22

Recap Tuesday

  • The Good: Got to see my friend Buzzy
  • The Bad: Styx, Foreigner, Def Leppard show was cancelled due to nasty, nasty weather
  • The Worse: They cancelled it *after* I had walked through the Creek part of Walnut Creek amphitheater (ok, it was actually the parking lot, but it netted out to be the same) in my little black suede (now soggy) tennis shoes.
  • The Ehn: Saw Rush Hour III in lieu of the show.  Not bad.  Not enough funny Jackie Chan bits.  Outtakes were better than the rest of the movie.
  • The Funny: Seen on a license plate on an Infiniti on the way to the show:    an b ond

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Aug 14

Definition: The Clark Kent Effect

Who knew?!

Apparently, there’s already a definition of The Clark Kent Effect (when geeky characters remove their glasses in order to become tough/fight crime).

I suppose that’s as much proof as I’ll ever need that I have no original thoughts.

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Jul 31

new word

hilariscary (adj.): funny and frightening

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Jul 11

10 Odd Things about me, for you, in memey goodness

IdiomSavant (who was kind enough to play trivia with me last night) tagged me with this here meme, so here goes:

Here’s how you play: Once you have been tagged, you have to write a blog with 10 weird or random things, facts, or habits about yourself. At the end, you choose 10 people to be tagged, listing their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says, “Tag, You’re it” on their profiles and ask them to read your blog. You can’t tag the person who tagged you.

  1. I have owned two R2D2 costumes in my life. My first, made by Dad, was in the fourth grade (and won my a Girl Scout Halloween costume competition).  The second, made by me, was 20 years later and won me universal acclaim at Charlie Goodnights, back when there was still a dance club attached to it.
  2. I’m fussy about which seat I sit in at a restaurant table.  I like to have my back to the door, but that’s not because of any Godfather-like paranoia, it’s because otherwise I won’t be able to see all the people…what if there were something *fun* going on behind me and I missed it?!Interestingly, my Dad (dtnorman) is fussy too — and with exactly the same preferences, creating a sort of race to the table when we eat together.  Luckily, my Dad’s a Good Southern Gentleman, which means I get to follow the host/hostess to the table, which means I get there first.  Ha!
  3. I throw righthanded and cartwheel lefthanded.  When I throw. Or do cartwheels.Let’s just say that this one isn’t as relevant now as it was when I was five.
  4. I don’t like top sheets. At all.  Either you tuck the top sheet in at the bottom (I am assuming no one tucks it in at the top… that would just be silly), in which case I can’t stick my feet off the bottom of the bed like I to do, or you leave it untucked at the bottom and I get all tangled in it and hot and bothered (and not in a good way).And I don’t suppose it’s any surprise that I *hate it* when the top sheet is tucked in all the way up the side of the bed — TRAPPED!!!

    Hm.  Don’t like sleeping bags either…. particularly not those mummy ones <shiver>

    OTOH, I *love* the European method of having a bottom sheet and a duvet with a cover and letting the duvet be the top sheet (with the duvet cover getting washed on the same schedule as the bottom sheet).  I was exposed to this (much more practical, IMHO) sheeting set-up when I was in France the summer after my junior year of high school (though I don’t think I adopted the system until somewhat later), and at this point I forget that most people *don’t* do it this way until I stay at someone’s house.

    BTW, this does pose one problem because King sheets tend to be sold in sets more than singles.  Don’t know why that is, but seems to be the case.  I’ve even been known to make my own duvet covers when I could only find flat & fitted in the style I wanted.

  5. I revere good grammar and am quite paranoid about writing poorly.  I have been known to completely rewrite paragraphs to avoid tricky bits like semi-colons (which I know how to use with words like “however” or “on the other hand” or “therefore” but which often feel odd otherwise).
  6. (this is #6 but the number isn’t showing in the HTML and I’m tired of fussing with it)
    I’m an enormous fan of “always having everything you might ever need within easy reach” (which may just be a nice way of saying I’m incredibly lazy).  When I was small I used to create “packs” with all the things I anticipated needing during the course of my day:  crayons, paper, scissors, paste, Snoopy, books (Ms. Piggle Wiggle was a favorite) and snack, etc.  All the goodies would go into an old-fashioned carry on bag and I’d tote them around all day. 

    In my current life this is most obvious in the prevalence of lipglosses… one by sofa, one by bed, one at desk, two in purse, [heaven only knows how many in bathroom], one in car, etc.

  7. Jeremy is my favorite boy name. I think that’s because of The Jeremy Mouse Book, which is now out-of-print and for which I paid $100 from a used bookseller.  I *really* liked that book.
  8. Everyone should have one body part (of their own) that they really do love (OK, preferably I’m sure we’d love all of our 2000 parts, but that’s just a soap commercial talking):  I love my feet.  I have tiny, cute feet.
  9. I almost always sit with my legs crossed or one leg tucked up under me.  Even now, at my nice, ergonomic, home desk chair, I am sitting “Indian style” criss-cross applesauce (this is the term all the young kids are using these days, I’m told.
  10. My dream job would be to be a public speaker (not with, you know, a plan and everything… more like “get paid to talk to people randomly”) or maybe a professional party guest.

Here’s who I tag:

  1. thebroomecloset
  2. Sarah
  3. dtnorman (won’t do it, but worth a shot)
  4. endersjewel
  5. fmi_agent
  6. jhvilas
  7. curvyart
  8. jklgoduke
  9. laurahcory
  10. Sarah (but a different Sarah)

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Jul 05

Is it bad that I use my puppy as a portable wet vac?

I just lifted the pup off the floor so she could lick up a little milk I spilled on the arm of my desk chair at home.  Is that a bad thing…?

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