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Of course for Rocky’s first Halloween I had to get him a costume.  Nevermind that I paid $10 bucks for it and he wore it for a total of 8 minutes.  Thats besides the point.  In my mind, it was totally worth it.  Look how handsome he looked…

He didn’t seem to mind the army fatigues.  After about 2 minutes of running around trying to shake them off, he gave up and just sat down.  Now, that fact that I made him wear this and proceeded to take pictures and videos, all the while cracking up, may seem like pet abuse.  But, Rocky Raccoon knew what he was getting into once he enlisted.  Happy Halloween!


“Oh yes, wait a minute Mr. Postman
Wa-a-a-it Mr. Postman

Please Mr. Postman look and see
If there’s a letter (oh yeah) in your bag for me
‘Cause its been soooo long
Since I’ve heard from that boyfriend of mine”

I’ve always loved this song originally sung by the Marvelettes (redone by the Carpenters) but now… now, it has a whole new meaning.  Last night as I checked my mail I learned two very valuable lessons: check your mail more often and always remember who has your spare key.

There’s been a recent prank of sorts going around the group where we place an unmentionable item somewhere in someone else’s belongings, only to wait until they discover this item, and then laugh about how they discovered it.  The first victim was Mary.  The item had been placed in her suitcase back in MARCH.  In AUGUST, she had the unfortunate experience of having her suitcase checked by security after they noticed what they thought was a “large liquid”.  She of course was on vacation with Andrew’s family.  HA!  When I received a text stating her bag had been searched and we were no longer friends, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed harder. 

I then knew that my turn was next.  So, I was trying to keep my eyes peeled of any suspicious activity.  Last weekend, I saw her try to put it in the back of my car and called her out on it.  She claimed she didn’t know what I was talking about.  Whatever.  Fast forward a week later when I decide to check my mail for the first time in over a week.  I’m about halfway through cleaning out the crap mail in there when I find something turtle heading out of the clutter.  O.M.G.  At first I was surprised.  Once I got over the shock of what I saw, I laughed.  I proceeded to call Mary and without saying anything when she answered I just started giggling and within 2 seconds she was giggling, too, because she knew what I had just found.  We laughed hard for about two minutes.  I’m not sure whether or not my mailman giggled the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth time he saw the item, but I am pondering the idea of leaving him a carton of milk to help smooth things over.

Now that the ball is back in my court, no pun intended, I can relax as I begin to plot the next attack.  Right now I’m brainstorming…

I’m a fan of retelling stories.  Sometimes I tell them over and over again like a broken record.  Most of the time my friends don’t hesitate to remind me they’ve already heard what I’m spouting out.  But, since this is my blog, I can tell my stories and cry if I want to.  Dad and ESM are touring the great state of Kansas this week and have jogged my memory of two stories worth sharing.

Last week they stayed at the same hotel, a Holiday Inn I believe, that we stayed at 15 or so years ago when we went to KS for a reunion.  I’m not sure how old Crystal and I were, but we were old enough to “man the fort” for an evening in our hotel room while the rents went down to the pool area for the reunion.  I’m guessing we were 7 and 9.  We ordered a pizza.  We watched a movie.  We most likely jumped on the beds.  We also decided to played it safe.  Not only did we lock the door but we also utilized the chain lock, the one you can only unlock from inside the room.  You just never know.

I’m sure after a few hours of all that fun, we were conked out on the bed.  About that time the rents came rolling back up to the room to retire for the evening.  They slid their key in the lock and opened the door.  Unfortunately, it only opened about 4 inches before the chain prevented it from opening any further.  “Oh great” they thought as they could see us passed out on the bed.

Now, its a common fact that I am a very sound sleeper.  Someone once stuck a strand of firecrackers through the mail slot on our front door at my Mom and Dan’s house on Bryker.  They then set them off.  They were apparently so loud that M&D jumped out of bed on the other side of the house, but somehow I, sleeping just a wall away from the firecrackers, remained unfazed.  The next morning they asked me if I had heard the fireworks and I had no idea what they were talking about. 

So, using their heads, my Dad and ESM decided to call out for Crystal, figuring there was no way I would be able to wake up to unlock the chain.  They shouted for her for probably 10-15 minutes, all the while I remember hearing them call out for her, but since it wasn’t my name being called, I didn’t think they needed me.  So, I stayed in bed, semi-asleep.  About to give up, they went down to the front desk to alert them of the situation.  They decided to send up a handyman with giant scissors to cut the chain.  This of course would probably have cost the rents $100 bucks or something ridiculous like that.  In one last ditch effort, they decided to call for me, figuring it would take an act of God for me to hear them.  All it took was a simple “Emily” and I jumped out of bed like it was no big thing and let them in.  This is probably one of my favorite stories ever.  The moral being: never underestimate Emily. 

The next story I have to share was way before my time.  Back in the mid 50’s, I’m guessing, Gamma and Pop decided to uproot the family from their home in Hiawatha, KS.  My Dad and Peg were of course very upset about this and threw major fits about having to leave.  To put icing on the cake, the family dog, Tip, wasn’t going to make the cut.  They had to leave him behind.  When asked where Tip was going, my grandparents told them he was going to live “out in the country”.  It was as if he was retiring from his career as family pet and going to buy a ranch and live a quiet and peaceful life out on the range.  He was going “out in the country”.  As simple as that.  Dad sent me some pics today of their KS tour, one of them being of the house where Tip got left behind.  That story always makes me laugh…

Also, who knew the fall foliage in Kansas was so beautiful? 

Don’t really know what that means, but I was unable to come up with a creative title.  At any rate, it was a really nice weekend.  Yesterday was the TCU Homecoming game, so I ventured on over to Fort Worth for that.  We went to the Frog 5 Tailgate, mainly to get our two free beers, and then hung out all evening at the AXO tailgate.  It was fun to hangout, drink, eat some chex mix and share a few laughs.  There was also an unfortunate Port-a-potty experience (when is it not an unfortunate experience?) but we managed to survive…

Maria and I then went to Edohana for a post buzz sushi dinner.  I had the Tower Park (a 4 layer tower consisting of… rice, crab, avocado and tuna) and it was reeaaaaal good.  We got up today for a Yogi’s breakfast and then I did some shopping at Super T before heading back to the dark side.  I spent all afternoon futzing around and cooking a pretty good soup that I can eat off of all week.  Asparagus and shrimp chowder, made healthy.  I did a little P90Xing, too.  I’m not too beat, but Rocky has been tuckered out all afternoon.  Sarge and Mazie, mostly the latter, really take it out of him.

 Now its time to settle in and watch Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters before calling it a night.  Tomorrow morning will be rough, but I think I’ll make it.  Its gonna be coooooold in the morning and I can’t wait to run it it.  And yes, that makes me sick.

I’m not going to lie, its been a very emotional week here at the office.  A friend left, I got moved to a new team, GS announced they will be laying off 10%.  That’s a lot to digest in 24 hours.  I’m glad its Friday and I think I am in need of some wine to unwind from all this hub-bub.

Even though times are changing around here, its nice to know that the humor doesn’t go away.  Two of my bosses have been competing since the summer in a hair growth contest.  My director has chosen the Rogaine method, while my assistant controller has opted for the natural/organic method of taking vitamins.  Once a month they take pictures with their cell phones and compare the hair growth on their “islands of despair” to the prior month’s photo.  Everyone gathers around the computer to judge the progress.  So far, I think Rogaine is winning.

And so, every opportunity we get to make fun of them, we seize.  At lunch today we were sitting next to a gentleman who was pretty much completely bald on top, but with the remaining strands he had left, he chose to spike up.  Since my director was working from home today and missed the lunch, I decided to send him the following email (and I’ll note – its pretty cool to work in an office where you can do this type of thing)…

“It was such a nice surprise to see you at lunch today.  Thanks again for joining us.”















And I received this in return…

“I could not view this on my blackberry… but I knew it would be good, so I had to log in just to see it.  Thanks for thinking of me on my day off.  I thought I would forward this to the rest of the team just to ensure all could partake in the ridicule.  I better sign off now, time for my afternoon Rogaine application.  Have a nice weekend all.”

Pretty funny if I say so myself.  And I think I will have a good weekend, just as soon as the 5 o’clock bell rings.

I was reading Mary’s blog this morning and saw her latest post listing her top 10 vices, quirks and addictions.  And although she didn’t “tag” me to post mine, I thought I would because it sounded like a nice break from work.  Which, by the way, is slightly depressing today.  So, let me talk about my addictions… much more uplifting!

1. I can’t stand the sound of people chewing their food when there is complete silence.  The yacking/chomping noise makes me tense up and I can’t enjoy my food. 

2. While we are on the topic of food, I get completely ADD sitting at the dinner table when the meal is finished.  In my opinion, unless dessert is on the way or there’s still wine on the table, its time to get up and do something else.  Long talks over an empty table really drive me crazy.  I usually start daydreaming in order to keep my mind off my ADD rage.

3. I can eat the same thing everyday and be happy as a clam.  When I worked on Nortel, I’d go to ABC and get the exact same salad everyday at lunch.  And I’d sorta freak out when we had to go to a team lunch and I couldn’t eat my salad.  I’m a creature of habit.  I can also eat breakfast for everymeal.  Once last year I had it 5 meals in a row.  It was awesome.

4.  Hi, my name is Emily and I’m a gumaholic.  I chew a lot of gum.  All sorts of flavors, too.  At any moment you can catch me with 4-5 different packs in my purse.  I also have an order for how I chew gum.  Cinnamon, Spearmint, Sweet Mint, Tropical Twist.  Same order.  Everyday.  Once in the AM.  Once in the PM.

5.  Talking on the phone is not my thing.  I’d so much rather communicate over email or text message.  I feel constricted on the phone because I have to focus on the conversation and can’t do anything else.  I also don’t like my phone voice, so talking on speaker phone always irritates me a little (sorry Mom and Dan!)

6.  I think its safe to say I’m addicted to coffee.  Just a cup in the morning though.  But, it has to be good.  Like Starbucks, La Madeleine, Einstein’s… pretty much any non-office coffee will do.

7.  When I go running I have to run for a certain number of minutes or cover a certain number of miles.  I never go running for as long as I feel like it.  Its gotta be 3, 4, 5, or 6 miles or 30, 45 or 60 minutes. 

8.  When I adjust the volume on the TV, it has to remain on an even number.  It can be level 14, 16 or 18, but never 15 or 17.  Even when level 15 is exactly how I want it, I still can’t leave it there. 

9.  I have the hardest time deciding what to eat for each meal.  I can literally flip flop between 5 different things for breakfast (oatmeal, eggs, toast, cereal, yogurt) and when I finally decide on one, I have “buyers remorse”.  Like, yesterday, I spent 30 minutes debating between Baja Fresh, Baker Bros, Jason’s and Pei Wei.  I eventually picked Baker Bros, but regretted it when I got back and saw they had buttered the bread on my sandwich.  And today, I’m having a tough time making the decision once again.

10.  I am also addicted to Ketchup.  I can eat it on anything.  Meats, potatoes, eggs, certain veggies… I’d even put it on a salad if I didn’t have dressing.  Its like seriously the best stuff ever.

A tropical heat wave!
It isn’t surprising,
The temperature’s rising!
She certainly can can-can.

A little shout out to 2622 and anyone who has seen Grumpy Old Men.  The cold front today literally blew in during the 20 minutes I was out picking up lunch.  I nearly got blown over walking back into the office with cold air.  I loved it.

This weather makes me want a hot dog reaaal baaad.  Actually, not really.  I just wanted to say that.  But, soups and chili and warm food are things I crave this time of year.  I’m spending my non-smoker smoke breaks this afternoon looking up a delightful dish to cook up this evening.  Something that says Fall and cold weather and perhaps gets eaten out of a bowl.  I’ll let you know what I decide on.   

I’ll also note that Joni Mitchell’s album “Blue” is perfect to listen to today.

Just get on the floor and do a New Kid’s dance!!  Ohhhh oh oh oh oh…

That’s right, a group of 26/27 year olds attended the NKOTB concert on Sunday night.  (Yes friends, I realize I was the only 27 year old).  I’m not going to lie, going into it I couldn’t understand why we were spending $90 a piece for our tickets.   But, after being there, seeing the “Kids” and all the crazy fans, I understand.  And I figure… I didn’t get to see them as a kid, so this was my only chance to make up for it.  I did have the sleeping bag, a million pinups of Jordan and the Hangin’ Tough concert VHS.  And Ross and I used to put on Elvis/NKOTB concerts in my backyard growing up.  But, I never got to see them live.  I could go on and on recapping the show, but fortunately Mary has already done so.  My only bit of annoyance with the show was that the AA center was just as full as it was when Bruce came to town.  That’s sick.

Open your eyes, Nana!

We had arranged to have a slumber party at my apartment after the show and everyone would take Monday off… one way or the other.  I choose the sweaty palms, aka Ferris Bueller, method.  I’ve never called in for a “sick” day before and figured I was overdue.  Come to find out, the whole office knew I had gone to New Kids the night before and assumed I drank too much at the show and was just hungover.  Awesome. 

The “sick”, aka mental health, day was totally worth it.  We woke up and went to a late and long breakfast at Dream Cafe, my favorite.  Even Rocky got to come along.  That place reminds me so much of Austin, which is probably why I love it dearly.  It doesn’t hurt that they have a very organic/healthy menu.  And its pet friendly, so the Rock gets a field trip.  Here he is looking very statuesque sitting on Mary’s lap…

After brunch, we did a little shopping and a little working out.  My kind of day.

I just received my birthday gift in the mail from my Mom and Dan.  A new iPod.  80G.  Black.  Yesssssssssssssssssssssss yes yes yes yes yes!

Its true that I have an infatuation with Apple and iPods.  Currently, I own 6 Apple products.  A Macbook, iPhone, 20G iPod, 80G iPod, Nano, and a Shuffle (do the shuffle, do do do de do do do do do…).  Its almost sick.  But, I have a valid explanation for how I acquired them and why I need them.

Macbook –  Does that really need explaining?  Robbers stole my Dell, I saw the light, got a Mac.

iPhone –  Best. Phone. Ever.

20G iPod – I’ve had this guy for 3 years, but currently he’s on life support.  About every other day he crashes, showing the sad iPod face, and the only way I can revive him is to beat the living daylights out of him.  I literally slam him against my desk, punch him in the face, etc.  Is this any way to live?  No, which is what brings me to the…

80G iPod – A necessary replacement to the 20G.  I can now expand my music wings and put EVERYTHING I have on there.  Which is what I’ll be working on this weekend.

Green Nano – It was love at first sight, but he’s not doing so well these days.  He used to be my workout iPod, but a year of sweat has put him on the bench.  He’s currently hooked up to an IV (i.e. my Bose sounddock) and only gets used when I workout in my living room.

Purple Shuffle – My workout buddy.  He’s already been replaced once since he’s still under warranty.  Most likely I sweated on him too much as well.  We all know I sweat a lot while working out.

Anywho, I’m so excited to welcome the 80G to the family!  Its going to be a fun ride.  And speaking of rides… I do NOT have the Apple bumper sticker on my car.  Although I probably should.

As promised, Kelley sent me the pics from the Hall/Hart wedding last weekend.  The ceremony and reception were both at the Witte Museum in San Antonio.  The dinner was delicious and the beverages were perfect – wine and beer – my favorites.    Here are some shots from the reception…


So, the ceremony and reception were nice, yadda yadda yadda. They had a photobooth, but somehow we managed to get inline for pictures right as they were shutting it down.  Shortly thereafter, we were instructed by Sue to start dancing.  At some point during the dancing, I realized that I had left my flip flops in the car that my Mom had already driven back to the hotel.  Kelley, in her gracious state, gladly let me wear hers.  My dancing was much more enjoyable without heels.  We stayed until the party ended, probably around 11.  We blew bubbles at Sarah and Branden as they left and thereafter headed to a bar we proceeded to call The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.  I think it was really called the Lion’s Den or something like that.  Our name was much more interesting.  From there more drinks ensued, as did the entertaining/interesting aspect of the night.  Here are a few highlights…

After we the bubbles we sat around waiting to figure out where we were going and how we were getting there.  Branden and Graham, two friends from high school, joined the Emily-Kelley entourage for the evening.  Branden noticed on Kelley’s wrist a bracelet made of friendship bracelet string.  She had gotten it in Spain, apparently, and whoever put it on her wrist told her to leave it on until it falls off on its own.  Some sort of fate like thing.  It was also somehow related to her ex bf.  With this knowledge, Branden decides to liberate Kelley from that relationship and breaks the bracelet off and tosses it in the pond.  This was her reaction to what had just happened…

We then pile in the car to head to the LWW (Lion, Witch, Wardrobe) bar.  Jordan, a friend of Sarah’s from Trinity, hops in the car with us just after Sue, Sarah’s mom, handed him a ridiculously large bouquet of hydrangeas.  Did he ask for the flowers?  No.  Sue just said, “here Jordan take these hydrangeas”. 

 At the LWW bar we grab seats at the bar to order drinks.  Kelley and I order draft beers and then Allison, friend from high school and maid of honor, orders us a round of Jaeger Bombs.  You know my feelings towards shots, but on this occasion I conceded.  I took mine like a champ, whereas Kelley decided to pour hers into her beer so it was like a Sake Bomb.  And then proceeded to drink from three tiny stir straws.  Weirdo.  Notice I am still smiling after the shot.

As were were closing out our tabs at the bar, Kelley leans over and says to me, “Are you ready to go?  Because as soon as I set this receipt down we need to leave because I am not tipping, I never tip”.  Ok, Captain.  She set it down and we bolted.  However we didn’t make it out of the bar.  We got held up in the entrance way for probably 30 minutes.  So much for that.  I asked the next morning why she never tips and she says she always tips and has no idea why she said that. 

As a side note, she also introduced us to a new vocabulary word. “Bap”.  No one has a clue what it means, but sometimes its accompanied by a pelvis thrust.  We spent all night listening to Kelley say, “bap”.

After standing in the lobby of the bar, we moved outside for probably another 45 minutes to an hour.  There was a little bit of drama, mixed with some Obama campaigning (I never should have said which way I was likely to vote).  We then decided it was time to roll and in the car Kelley declared she wanted Taco Cabana.  Thanks be to my iPhone for finding us the nearest TC.  We get there and Kelley turns into an Indian Giver and asks for her flip flops back.  I only give one back, so we both walk into TC with one flip flop each.  I ordered a mere breakfast taco and she orders what I would like to call a Mexican Fiesta.  One Mexican platter, one order of nachos and one order of queso.  It was awesome, so I took a picture…

After our 2am “snack” we headed back to the hotel.  As we entered the parking lot, we found Jordan hanging out at the statue fountain, that is in front of the hotel, by his lonesome.  We joined him and since Kelley and I both had one dirty foot each, we took foot baths.  The security guard then approached us and we realized we should probably go inside.

We went to Jordan and Allison’s room, where we found Allison sleeping in her bridesmaid dress.  She slept in that sucker all night.  Awesome.  Since the Hyatt Place hotel is amazing and has separate areas, bedroom and living room, we all plopped down on the couch.  In no particular order, the following events ensued…

Jordan changed into his H&M bowling knickers and pranced around the room declaring himself a “fairy”.  On a dare, he then tucked himself into a cabinet the size of a mini refrigerator and shut the door.  He did it quickly, too, like he had practiced.  Somewhere along the lines the hydrangeas from Sue made another appearance.  But, this time they weren’t contained to a pretty bouquet.  We tore them to shreds and began to throw them at each other.  They ended up scattered all over the floor.  And it wasn’t long until the Cheetos, that were being housed in the ice bucket, joined them.  What a mess.  After much laughter, the security guard came to our room, who we proceeded to call the “Federales”, to quiet us down.  Of course Jordan was the one to answer the door, dressed only in his skiivies.  I think we got quieter for maybe 5 minutes.  Kelley and Branden began to wrestle/slap each other next.  And then one of them headbutted the other, in which a debate erupted about what constitutes “headbutting”. 

It was 4am.

A discussion on headbutting at 4am made me realize that it was probably time to go to bed.  So, we walked across the hall to our room, where mi madre was already sleeping soundly.  Graham needed a place to crash and didn’t want to stay in the room with the Cheetos, so we offered him up our couch.  He accepted.  And as I crawled into bed I said, “Hey Mom, there’s a boy sleeping in our room tonight… just so you know”.  She responded, “Ok”.

Here are the rest of the characters, so you have names with faces…

This is from the kitchen shower we threw for Sarah in Austin.  The first is us with our moms.  The second is Me, Sarah, Allison and Jordan. 

Branden and Graham.  The boy who liberated Kelley and the boy who slept in our room.