Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday - More Random Stuff

~ Busy day today. On the one hand, I managed to finish up a 189 page deposition, of which I started the day with 59 pages done. That was a herculean effort, if I do say so. I also managed to get it done before 5:00, which is a bonus for me, except it was being sent to New Jersey, so 5:00 is really like 8:00 there, so they were gone for the weekend. Oh, well, one down, three to go. I'm hoping to relax at the end of next week before panicking that I have no work and after finishing up the big stuff I have right now.

~ On the other hand, I watched all of Quarterlife on the internet today. What it is is this sort of internet soap, but it's in 8-minute episodes. I seriously think that's what I like the best about it. 8 minutes is a perfect break, and I caught two or three at lunchtime. Last week, NBC put a bunch of episodes together and tried to run it on T.V., but ended up canceling it already. Yeah, suck it, NBC. No one watches T.V. anymore because of that damn strike. I guess you might as well just show things once and then cancel everything. That will bring us back in droves, I predict. Anyway, I really don't love the characters, but it was a wonderful distraction today.

~ Then, there has been this big drama going on with the new high school and the old high school in my home town. My sister talked me into going onto the local newspaper website and posting my thoughts on the subject, which were EXTREMELY sarcastic. I sort of forgot about it until late this afternoon when I clicked over there to check and there were three replies. The second person TOTALLY missed the sarcasm and ended up calling me a rich snob and thinking I was serious when I joked they should burn down the old high school and bus those kids to a neighboring town, thus allowing the new high school not to have to associate with the less fortunate riffraff. He also said he feared for my 2 girls' future. I was kind of horrified, but I posted a clarification post explaining that while I thought my sarcasm was pretty thick, I'm sorry if he misinterpreted my posts. Later another guy posted and said that while he did have to read my posts a couple of times, they were pretty good. I felt better. I only hope the first guy reads my clarification and realizes I'm not all bad or bad at all!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Good Old Days ...

Here is a post from my old blog. I seriously think I have some sort of predilection for accidents requiring stitches. I've had stitches on three separate fingers since 8th grade. When you think about it, court reporting may not have been the wisest career choice, considering I seem to want so badly to cut off one of my fingers...

Monday, June 05, 2006

Don't Try This at Home

So last Wednesday night I'm sitting in our LazyBoy (aka Hopeless Slackass) recliner holding my Fiskar's sewing scissors in my hand. These don't have really long blades, they're more for snipping tiny pieces of thread, but they're REAL sharp. Anyway, I go to shift in my chair and I remember thinking, "Wait a minute. Is this chair falling over backwards?" I couldn't believe it. We've had that chair for 11 years and not once has it ever fallen over. I bonked my head against the kitchen table pretty hard, so I kind of sat up shaking my head. I glance down, and I have STABBED myself in the thigh, which is now GUSHING blood. I kid you not. Well, seeing as how I was just at the Emergency Room about three weeks ago, I'm familiar with the layout and the procedures. I'm limping around the kitchen holding a fistful of napkins on my leg thinking, "I could probably just go do this by myself, unless I've lost too much blood and maybe would faint in the car on the way." I figure I better get my husband up. He took charge and got our friend Lisa to come over while we went to the hospital. I called Lisa from the waiting room and she said, "Man, what happened? It looks like a CSI crime scene in here." Bless her heart, she cleaned up all the blood and straightened everything out before we got home. Anyway, this is a picture of my six stitches. I wish I had a more interesting story.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Random Stuff

~ I've never watched American Idol before this year, and I've only watched a little bit so far. One of the main reasons I don't like it is that I don't like it when the family is sitting there watching the singer, beyond proud, and then the singer gets cut or told he/she didn't do great, and then the family has to be so pissed. It's uncomfortable. And even thought it's usually Simon, he's usually right, but I think the family has built that person up so much for so long that they don't see it. I'm not sure if it's better to crush their dreams then and there or be nice and let them go on thinking they'll be a star.

~ Today I was getting ready to take Samantha to school and I said, Oh, is there anything in your backpack from yesterday that I need to see? She opens her backpack and looks through her folder and says, No, there's just this work of art. I thought that was so cute.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Scary - NOT!

I had a close call yesterday. Alex had been on my computer, and when she got up to leave, she knocked a glass of water, mostly on the floor, but some on my stenograph (COMPUTERIZED) machine. I quickly turned it off, unplugged it, and tried to wipe everything down. A few hours later, after everyone was in bed and I thought I'd do some work, I turned it on, only to be greeted by "SR3 SYSTEM TEST FAILED: CODE 04". Help.

I called Shari and she told me to call the place in Seattle that deals with court reporter stuff. She even offered to drop it off in Seattle since she was working there the next day. I've had that machine since I started in '92, so needless to say, I was petrified. They are NOT CHEAP. When Shari's machine stopped working a couple of years ago, it was going to cost so much to fix that she just bought a new, refurbished one instead.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon, Shari called me on her way home to let me know she had dropped it off. We chatted for a bit, then hung up. Oh, it also turns out the guy who does the work lives in Cumberland, which while I'm not sure where that is, I do know it's pretty close to where I live. I had no sooner hung up when he called to say he had fixed it. I asked how much - $65. I was seriously thinking I'd be lucky to get out of this for less then five or $600. He asked if I wanted it cleaned, also, and then we agreed to meet in Enumclaw Thursday to pick it up. I won't even have to go to Seattle. Shari was convinced, when I called her initially to tell her what had happened, that there is a reset button you can stick a pin in to reset it. Maybe there is and that's all it took, I don't know. But I haven't had my machine cleaned since '93, and I know it needed it really badly.

Sometimes, when everything goes so smoothly and easily like that, it feels like things really happen for a reason. There are always times when I run to the store for something that I really don't need, and when I get there, there's a parking spot right in the front right by the door I need. I always feel like, well, I guess it's meant to be.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Adorable and Amazing

Thowed Up

Yesterday, Sam was sick all day. I got home around 2:00 and spent the rest of the day hanging out with her. She threw up maybe four more times. At one point, Eric had brought home Tylenol, which I wasn't going to give her, since she didn't have a fever. I gave it to her anyway, and for about 45 minutes, she felt great. She got out her diary, which I didn't know she had. She was writing about her experience being sick, and I told her it was the 20th. When we found out it was the 21st, she ripped this page out and gave it to me. She won't keep it around if there's a mistake on it. I absolutely wouldn't tell her that it was correct to say "threw up" instead of "thowed up", it's too cute. Plus, she doesn't make a lot of mistakes like that, so I have to hold on to it!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Saga of the Boxed Lunches

Tuesday, the first day of my three days of deps, during the morning break, this office lady comes in with a bag and hands it to the attorney sitting there and says, Here are your lunches. After she left, I said, "Maybe she should check the other conference rooms around here. Are you sure that's for us? " He laughed and said, "No, I don't want to point it out if it's not for us. I want lunch." When it was finally lunch time, we all agreed to meet back in an hour, then the two attorneys started discussing the witnesses and the rest of the afternoon. I sort of shuffled papers, not wanting to bring up the free lunches, but I wanted my lunch. In all the years I've been a court reporter, I've had attorneys buy me lunch, but I've never had anyone order lunch in like that. Anyway, I finally left, and I didn't get a lunch. When I got back I asked the witness how the lunch was and he said really good.

The next day, I knew they were ordering fewer lunches because half the attorneys went to the barbeque place across the street the day before. So not only did I not get a lunch, they probably threw a few away. Anyway, after lunch, I came back and one of my attorneys said, Oh, did you get a lunch today? I had the turkey sandwich and it was really good.

So today I vowed I was going to get a lunch, dammit. You don't even understand. I happen to secretly like airplane food. This was like really FANCY, expensive airplane food. Gourmet airplane food, if you will. Our job got out at 1:00 but I knew they had delivered more lunches than the day before because I saw them. I figured, Dignity be damned, I am never going to see these people again after today. I am getting a lunch. Well, I did get a lunch. I agonized (inside, not out where all the attorneys would see me) over which one to take. I even forgot to pick up the exhibits after the job, which court reporters are usually anal about. Luckily one of the attorneys noticed and I hadn't left yet because I was busy choosing which lunch to take. I finally picked the Mediterranean Wrap because it sounded good and it wasn't something I'd pick at a restaurant. Man. The wrap kind of sucked. Maybe it really sucked but I ate half because I was so excited and wanted it to be great. I don't know. The cookie was great, and the chips were Tim's Cascade (duh) and even the salad was pretty good. But after all the build-up, I have to say, I should have gone with the Chicken Ranch.

Busy working

This week has been kicking my ASS. I've taken (so far) two all-day jobs for a firm I work for occasionally from Federal Way. These jobs have a TON of acronymns, so it should be interesting transcription. Yesterday we started the day out and I realized people were saying PBX when I had PRX written down from the day before. At break I asked one of the attorneys if there was such a thing as PRX. No... Anyway, those things are easy to work with because I basically type P* every time they say it so I can global it in. It disturbs me, though, that I didn't realize until late yesterday morning what this company actually sold and what the lawsuit was all about. But it's HIGHLY confidential, so I can't tell you here. Even though it's totally uninteresting and your eyes would glaze over after I even told you what this company actually sells, let alone getting into what I think I understand the suing company thinks the other company did. YAWN. But the attorneys are very nice, funny even. So it's not a bad gig, just a long drive and a long day.

Monday, February 18, 2008

More Banners!

This arrived on my desk shortly after this.

See? People love banners.

Friday, February 15, 2008

My New Favorite Songs

Totally catchy stuff --

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Alex's 13th birthday and the birth of Banner Lady

Alex turned 13 today - a teenager... I'd been teasing her for the past two weeks that I was going to make a birthday banner and have them hang it at the dance (which was yesterday). She'd get mad and tell me I better not, and I'd tease her some more and tell her I might even put one of those naked pictures of her on it from when she was a year old. Then she'd get madder, and I'd finally have to tell her a banner would cost $50 bucks to have made and that there's no way I'd spend that, just because at this point I was afraid she wouldn't even go to the dance. Once while I was teasing her, I told her I thought it would be really cool to be known as the Lady who makes all the Banners and that I should really start making banners for everything. Banners are cool. She just thinks I'm weird. So anyway, this is what I did for her today. I got up this morning at 6:30 and ran over to the school and hung it, then I told the people that give her a ride to make sure she saw it. Ryan's dad said he pulled over to "check his tires" and made sure her window was facing the banner. He said it was funny watching her face as she read it. Then she said, I think my mom put that up there. And he said, You're right. I was still a little nervous, but when I asked him if she was mad, he said not at all. Yippee! I feel like a pretty good mom now, because I wasn't sure I'd go through with it, what with the having to get up 15 minutes early and go out in the cold and all...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"We Won Again" Part 2

Another funny thing about Samantha's view of how the basketball game went on Monday is the "again" part. She's in the U6 coed league, where each team has maybe three girls, at least one boy who can make every shot he shoots, and at least one bigger boy who's idea of basketball is to rip that ball out of other kids' hands and run like hell. Dribbling? What's that? Samantha's basketball exposure has been plentiful. The problem is she's only ever learned to be dribbling the whole time she has the ball. It wouldn't occur to her to grab that sucker and run. Plus, the kid that usually does that is almost ALWAYS the big kid on the team. Her team, however, doesn't really have the boy who makes every shot or the big kid. She has a group of good kids who try to follow what their coach is saying and try to dribble and pass. The fact that she believes they've won before just shows what a positive attitude she must have!

Also, I made these Molten Lava Cakes tonight, and they were super easy and excellent.

Melt 4 squares Baker's Semi-Sweet baking chocolate and one stick of butter on HIGH 1 minute or until butter is melted. Stir with whisk until chocolate is melted. Stir in 1 cup powdered sugar until well blended. Blend in 2 eggs and 2 yolks with wire whisk. Add 6 T flour. Divide batter among four buttered custard cups. Bake 13 - 14 minutes at 425 until sides are firm but centers are soft. Let stand 1 minute. Run knife around cakes to loosen. Serve immediately with ice cream or whipped cream.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"We Won Again"

Last night Samantha's basketball team, the U6 Green Hornets, played another game. Since her dad wasn't feeling well, he skipped the game. When we got home, he came running down to find out how it went.

DAD: Hey Mantha, how did the game go?

MANTHA: Good. We won again.

ME: Wha?!? -- well, morally, they did, I guess.

You guys won?


ME: I didn't realize that. That's great.

After she left, I laughed about it, but I guess it's great that basketball makes her FEEL like a winner. Or maybe she just wasn't interested in having a conversation with her dad right then and just said what she thought he wanted to hear. But I think she really thought they had won, which is kind of cool.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Kids in Sports

Alex is playing AAU basketball with a team of girls from most of the area middle schools. They've been playing together for about three weeks now, and last weekend was their first tournament. The plan was to play twice a week together and hopefully do a tournament a month until May or so.

The first thing I learned after last weekend, which is something I've suspected for awhile now, is that I don't like watching soccer. I don't mind watching Alex once in awhile, but it just doesn't hold my interest. The teams we played at this basketball tourney were thrilling to watch. The level most of these teams played was probably three times better than Alex's school team, the pace of play at least twice as fast. I hardly noticed that we got killed four times in four games. The basketball that our girls stepped up and started playing was amazing.

That being said, I'm fairly certain that most of the girls, at least on the first three teams we played, do not play other sports. The first team we played was an Auburn team, and one of the girls was from Thunder Mountain Middle School, which is in our league. I'm pretty sure I didn't see this girl playing school ball. One of the coaches told us that this team had played 60 games so far (starting in September) and we heard one of the girls mention four-night-a-week practices.

I would love for Alex to be that good at basketball. I mean, some of the girls, in no way, shape or form, even looked like athletes, but could play circles around our girls. But Alex loves playing soccer and volleyball, and to be that good, I don't think she'd be able to do her other sports.

I've actually been analyzing non-stop since yesterday the ways in which sports have changed for our kids. Will some of these girls even play school basketball? Or is that not even the goal? I know Alex's soccer coach, even though he played two sports in high school, doesn't want his players playing other sports. I know his daughter, who is one of the best on our team, is not playing school soccer. I heard she did, but quit. I could be wrong. I always look back on high school and think I had so much fun, and sports was a huge part of that. I mean, sure you can play select this or premier that, but are you going to have a crowded gym of your peers behind you and the pride of winning FOR YOUR SCHOOL on the line? I guess girls sports don't always get the crowded gym, so maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe you'll grow up thinking, oh, I played soccer, but I was actually too good for the school team, so I played premier and that was fun enough.

How can you know when you are 7 that you only want to be the best basketball player ever and not that you actually have the talent to be a state champion high jumper? Unless track has changed, also, when I was growing up, you didn't figure out you had a talent at high jumping until you tried it because you didn't want to run, but still wanted to be on the track team in the eighth grade.

Then I look at these girls and think they can't all be doing it because their parents want them to. Some of them have to LOVE it themselves. You can make a kid do something, but if that innate desire isn't there, it's not going to keep them interested. I've always been so excited for Alex that she is actually pretty good and that she does love sports and that we don't have to cut down on anything because she's also a great student. I've always told her that if her grades suffer, we have to cut out some sports. Would I have the nerve to do that? Do these parents that invest all this money and time for their kids to play this level of basketball or soccer care about grades? Or does the sport take precedence? What is the ultimate goal, a college education? Because you can get a scholarship, but you kind of have to have at least a portion of a brain to go to college.

I guess I saw firsthand back in Oregon when I used to type papers for spending money. I typed this paper for this running back, Elliot. I was so impressed with his paper. When I told him that I thought it was a great paper, he said, Oh really? Good. The unmistakable impression being, of course, that he hadn't even read it.

I don't know that I'd do anything different with Alex. Maybe not encourage soccer so much... but she loves the game and she's told me more than once that she likes that it keeps her in shape. I guess if she wanted to drop everything and head to Auburn four times a week for basketball, I'd really have to put some thought into it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Passing on a Love for Lippy...

My family is full of Bonnie Bell Lipsmackers people (aka "Lippy"). I converted my daughters when they were, like, 2. Granted, Alex (13) has moved on to other, glossier, more colorful brands, but she will always love the original Lippies. For Christmas we always have Lippy in our stockings, even in my husband's. I have a gladware container in my drawer next to my bed full of lippies so that in the middle of the night, if my lips are dry, I don't even have to open my eyes, I just reach over and grab one. I have to say, my very favorite flavor is Fanta Pineapple. You can't even buy it alone. You have to buy it in the soda flavors package. But when I manage to grab Pineapple, even if I am still more than 3/4 of the way asleep as I put it on, I always register that I got lucky and got the Pineapple.

I grew up skiing every Saturday, first lessons for about eight years, and then off on my own. That was back when Lipsmackers came in the jumbo size with a cord attached so you could wear it as a necklace. I had the chocolate mint. I know that sounds kind of gross, but it was awesome. I mostly got the chocolate mint because it was sort of mint green on the outside and kind of matched my ski outfit. I'm not even sure what my favorite flavor was back then. I know I had more than just the chocolate mint, though. Whenever I smell that smell, it takes me right back to the Bierstub on Big Mountain during lunch. I don't think I'm the only person who would flip out if Bonnie Bell ever started making some of those old flavors and selling them in jumbo again.

They do make jumbo lippies, maybe once a year, but they're not in necklace form and there's only maybe four flavors. Every time I find them, though, I buy a bunch. When I first found them in a WalMart in Gig Harbor, I went back a week later and bought 12 of them. The girls included one in every birthday gift for the next six months. They also had to keep one of every flavor for themselves, though, so I did have to go back a couple of times. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm glad they both carry on this obsession, even if they do temporarily fall for the glitz and gloss of other brands for a while. Hey, I was a Carmex girl in college. We all stray.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Still Can't Figure It Out

For some reason, one time when I was logging into this site to add a post to my blog, I entered my email address incorrectly. I added a space before and after the "@" sign. Before I figured it out, I had clicked the "Remember Me" button. Then I realized my mistake and went to correct it, deleting only ONE of the spaces, before clicking on the "Remember Me" button again. So now whenever I go to log on, no matter how many times I type in my correct address, sans SPACES, and then try the "Remember Me" again, it doesn't work. I have to choose one of the incorrect addresses (I usually pick the one with one space -- call me lazy) and delete a space. Then for good measure, I usually click "Remember Me" again, which doesn't work AGAIN. My sister told me where my passwords are hidden on my computer, which I never knew and admit would have been VERY handy in the past. As you can probably tell from the title of this post, I STILL CAN'T FIGURE IT OUT. But I'm very worried about myself, mentally, and the effect this will eventually have on my state of well-being. I really want to win.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


When we moved out to the country when I was in seventh grade, we were unable to get any T.V., local, cable, antenna or otherwise. There was no digital back in the old days... My parents finally got cable, unfortunately long after I had moved out. With that T.V. came a whole host of other problems, i.e., setting the clock, plugging in the VCR, setting the clock on the VCR, you get the picture. My sister used to "borrow" the VCR and then return it without plugging it in, thus ensuring my parents would never use it again and she could have it. My brother swears that scene in City Slickers where Billy Crystal is trying to explain setting the clock on the VCR is from a VERBATIM transcript I must have prepared shortly after starting court reporting school. But I digress. One day while we were home visiting, my dad says, "Where's the plectron? Who has the plectron?" Well, since we had never HEARD that word before, we proceeded to calmly question him as to what this plectron might be. If you know my dad at all, you're totally not surprised he called the remote control a plectron. The funny thing is, though, that he didn't actually make up the word. There is such a thing as a plectron.

A Plectron is a specialized VHF/UHF single-channel, emergency alerting radio receiver, used to activate emergency response personnel, and disaster warning systems. Manufactured from the late 1950s, through the late 1990s, by the Plectron Corporation in Overton, Nebraska, hundreds of thousands of these radios were placed in homes of first responders across all of North America.

also ~

Noun1.plectronplectron - a small thin device (of metal or plastic or ivory) used to pluck a stringed instrument

Monday, February 4, 2008


So I'm standing at the deli counter at Safeway the other day ordering Eric some lunch. The man next to me has ordered some jo-jo's with dipping sauce. The girl behind the counter says to the other lady working there, "Are we out of the chipotle (pronouncing it chi-pot-el) ranch sauce?" The lady didn't hear her, so she says it again. Chi-pot-el. Unless you live under a rock with no T.V., you KNOW how to pronounce chipotle. Plus, unless you assume this was her first day, FIRST HOUR, of her new job at the deli at Safeway, she should know by now that the chipotle ranch dipping sauce is NOT pronounced CHI-POT-EL. Stuff like this tends to drive me near to insane. Thank god she didn't have to spell it.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The End of the Weekend

Last night was the Father/Daughter dance. I had to sign them up for the last session, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., because the earlier ones were full, so I did worry that Samantha wouldn't make it till the end. They came tearing into the house at 10:15, clutching their carnations. Their picture turned out really cute. Dad said the girls danced almost every dance, which would be a major difference from last year. Although, I couldn't confirm that fact, because when I mentioned it to Alex, she wrinkled her nose.

Alex's soccer team won both games this weekend. The game today was up in some Capital Hill neighborhood in Seattle that I've been to before for baseball games. While the team warmed up, I decided to pop down the hill to downtown Seattle and hit a bookstore for a spell and buy some new reading material. I ended up driving around downtown for about 20 minutes before I headed back up to the soccer field. No way am I going to spend $8 to park for an hour so I can spend $8 more on a book. I know growing up in Montana and now living in Buckley has left me somewhat jaded about what the allure of the city might be. I don't get why it would be better to buy something at the "downtown" Nordstrom or Macy's when you could run to the mall and park for free and get the same thing. Plus, I'm sorry, but downtown Seattle is full of weirdos.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Weekend, so far...

Well, this weekend Alex has two state cup soccer games. Normally, I suppose this would be exciting, but in this instance, I'm hoping for a quick exit from the tournament. Soccer has been going non-stop (she even had a practice January 1st, the only team there) since oh, I think April? Let's just say I'm pretty over it. They are guaranteed four games. I think the first three are for seeding purposes, and then after that it's loser out. Eric went to her game today, mostly because the game tomorrow is in Seattle somewhere at 1:00. In case this hasn't occurred to anyone, the Super Bowl is at 3:00. I mean, I pay little to no attention, AT ALL, to NFL football, and I'm not even sure who is in the Super Bowl, but even I like a good Super Bowl party. So I've found somewhere for Samantha to spend the afternoon (seeing as how there's like a 95 percent chance it will rain at some point during the game), and I'm sucking it up and taking one for the team, me being the person who will take Alex to the game, sit and watch and support her, and shuttle her home afterwards.

Right before Eric left for the game, he said, "I suppose the girls may want to go to dinner tonight, huh?" I seriously had no idea what he was talking about. Then I remembered, tonight is the annual Father/Daughter dance in Enumclaw. Yee-haw! I totally forgot. So I think while they are all at the dance, I just may don my very best sweats and mosey on down to the local theater and check out a movie. Or I may just stay home and lay in bed and switch the channels on my new flat-screen 32-inch bedroom TV around and around and around, since there is nothing on and I'm too lazy to get up and put in a dvd. Either option, Yay Me!