Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like... Thunderstorms?

I'm sure this is probably true no matter where you go, but we in Wisconsin are known to boast about our strange weather.  Last month there was a tornado in the state.  Yesterday it rained.  Today there are thunderstorms in parts of the state.  I'm sorry, what month is this?  December?  Yikes.

2011 is fast approaching.  Last year around this time I looked back at all the wonderful things that happened in 2009.  Allow me to recap, along with some 2010 highlights.

2009: Rang in the New Year in the Dells with some great friends.
2010: Rang in the New Year with Zach and Maxi; first New Year in the house.

2009: Bought a house with the love of my life.
2010: Still here!

2009: Finally got a dog! And she's such a wonderful pup.
2010: Still a wonderful pooch!

2009: Got photos published in not one, but TWO state-wide calendars.
2010: Got a photo published in the 2011 version of one of the aforementioned calendars.

2009: Took two amazing mini-vacations (in WI) and one fantastic long vacation (in NV/CA).
2010: Had an amazing honeymoon in Disney World!

2009: Turned 25 and had a blast on my birthday in Lake Tahoe.
2010: Turned 26 and went to the zoo for my birthday!

2009: Got accepted to PSU and completed my first semester back to school with a 4.0 GPA.
2010: Finished my Spring semester with an A and an A- and made my first Dean's List (cumulative from both semesters)!  Also got accepted to the Psychology program.  :-)

2009: Got good news health-wise at my last physical and am overall pretty darn healthy AND happy.
2010: Same, only fatter.  Who needs to be skinny when you're happy, right?  ;-)

2009: Got back in touch with some good friends (including cookie nights with Vertigo, a zoo trip with Amy, Isaac's wedding, and other good stuff).
2010: More cookie nights with Vertigo, Sunflower came out to my house for a party, LOTS of fun times with Mandy and Chadder...  So wonderful to have great friends!

2009: Sold my first photo to the owner of a car from the Power Tour.
2010: Got 4th place in the 2010 Wisconsin State Fair with one of my photos (Transportation category).

2009: Got engaged!
2010: Got married!!

I have to say that these have been two stellar years, and I can only hope that 2011 is half as good!  Hope everyone has a happy and healthy holiday!  :-)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hump Day - A Follow Up Story

If you'll recall, I previously wrote about a woman who attempted to assault a police officer with a sex toy after she had skipped out on paying her bill at a local restaurant.  (If you don't recall, go back a few hump days and you'll find it.)

Well, for the curious, here's a follow up story!  

The police report indicates that the woman charged an officer with a "clear, rigid feminine pleasure device," which the officer was able to deflect without injury.  The woman is apparently set to plead not-guilty, and her lawyer says that the officer who wrote the report should be "ashamed of himself" for including information about the sex toy assault.

Really?  Your client's the one who skipped out on her bill and then threw a dildo at a police officer, and the officer is the one you think should feel ashamed?  That's a defense attorney for you... 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mini Saltines Are Like Crack

Ok, in all fairness, I've never tried crack, so I can't say that 100% truthfully.  However, I will say that they are addictive little suckers and that they should probably just give me the world's mini saltines because I will eat them all.  Now.

In other news, my hubby is sick and, as a result, so am I.  I'm hoping to battle this off pretty quickly (I'm in the early, early stages), so in goes the Vitamin C and water!  Nom, nom, nom?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Moronic Monday - Congrats! You Made The News...

In many of these cases, however, I think most of us would want to avoid the spotlight.  In fact, someone else can gladly have my 15 minutes of fame...

Although they aren't all moronic, many of them are.  And the rest are just plain amusing.

My favorite?
"LAKE BLUFF, Feb. 27 -- A resident of the 500 block of Shore Acres took two days to report finding a 6-foot concrete ostrich on his front porch."

Um...  To whom, exactly, does one report a giant concrete bird?  And what is the standard time-frame for doing so?  I'm not sure I actually would report it.  I think I'd keep it there and track how long it takes for someone to contact ME about it.  And if nothing else, I'd decorate it for the holidays.   

P.S.  The cookies ultimately failed and fell back into their natural state of goo.  Sad.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cookie Update

Ok, the meringue cookies seem to be hardening as the day goes on.  My hope is that by the end of the day, we can eat them more like cookies and less like pudding.

That is all.

Stupid Cookies

Here I am, trying to be a good little baker and make some meringue cookies and what do I get?  Piles of goo.  Yep.  Piles.  Of.  Goo.  FAIL.

How do you mess something up that's essentially made of eggs, sugar and air?  Seriously?  FCOL.

Well, at least I tried.  Hopefully my mom can give me some pointers over Christmas and I can try again next year.  Stupid cookies.

On the bright side, it's almost Christmas Eve!  Which means it's almost Christmas Day!  Huzzah!!  Here's hoping the rest of the holiday goes better than those cookies...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hump Day - Is There a Payphone I Can Use?

Oh, readers...  This may take the cake on the hump day posts thus far.  

(Fair warning - you might not want to click the links if you're in a public setting and easily embarrassed.  The pictures aren't graphic, but they sure are hysterical.)

Sure, you can use your phone for sexting, if that does it for you, but then what?  You're stuck, right?  

Not anymore.  Introducing, the MobileRyder, the first sex toy cell phone accessory.  No, I'm really not kidding.  This thing exists.  

According to the site, "your friends are already whispering about" this crazy product, and a "Super Sexy A List Celebrity" is quoted praising them for inventing this thing.  Seriously?  It's a phone cover with a dildo attached.  Why the hell would anyone buy this, let alone invent the damn thing??

But, as we all know, if it's out there, someone will buy it.  And the worst part is, you may never know who has been humping their phone and who hasn't.  As one blog notes, you'll never want to borrow a friend's phone again.  With this on the market, who knows where that thing has been, right?  -shudder-  

Maybe it's time to bring back payphones... 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Time Is Here

Time for joy and cheer?  One can only hope.

I find the few days leading up to Christmas to be both exciting and dreadful at the same time. 

Exciting: Everyone's getting into the holiday spirit!  Lights and trees are up, presents are getting wrapped, cookies are being baked...  It's fun to get caught up in it and remember Christmases past. 

Dreadful: Constant worrying about whether I forgot to send a card to Great Aunt What's-Her-Name or didn't get the right gift for little cousin What's-His-Bucket.  Also, the concern of whether I have enough time and energy to pull everything off is exhausting to think about, let alone do.

But, all this aside, it really can be a great time of year.  I guess the best thing to do is try to push the negative thoughts aside for now and deal with them when they come up.  For now, I must focus on the good!  And fortunately, the good means cookies.  

Mmmmm... cookies.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Moronic Monday - Say What?

Read some fantastic quotations and feel smarter, my friends.  (Seriously, how can you not feel smarter after some of these?)

If you're too lazy to check out the link for yourself, here are a few of my personal favorites:
"Tensions in Latvia...are tense..."
"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."
"The word 'genius' isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."
And the best, of course:
"Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you
passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances." 
I'm pretty sure my IQ just jumped up 10 points...   

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's Almost Here!

Yes, kids, Christmas is just around the corner!  In fact, one week from today I will be baking cookies with my mom and getting ready for the best meal of the year: Christmas Eve Dinner.

Ever since I can remember, Christmas Eve has been as big of an event as Christmas Day.  True story.  So it's only fitting that Christmas Eve Dinner be as fabulous (if not more fabulous) than Christmas Day's meal.  

Every year my mom makes prime rib.  It is by far the best prime rib you will ever have in your life.  It's so good that during the five years I went vegetarian, I always took Christmas Eve off so I could indulge in this magical meal.  

The prime rib itself would be a complete meal, but there's more.  Oh yes, there is more.  Mom makes Yorkshire pudding.  If you haven't had it, you need to try it (assuming you like things that are delicious).  Yorkshire pudding is the perfect compliment to the prime rib and is to DIE for.  Soooooo good.

As if that weren't enough, the table is also filled with things like salad, potatoes, green beans, black-eyed peas, and/or any other number of side dishes that my mom prepares.  In other words, if you walk away from the table hungry on Christmas Eve, you weren't at OUR table.

Top the night off with hot cocoa and opening gifts and you have a pretty perfect holiday.  :-)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hump Day - You'll Just Have to Wait

Readers, I searched high and low (and lower) yesterday to find a good hump day story for you, but it just wasn't in the cards.  I tried again this morning, but to no avail.  I hope you'll forgive me - you'll just have to wait until next Wednesday.

In unrelated news, I am going to be an aunt!  My brother-in-law and his wife are expecting their first little one in July.  Huzzah!  I'm looking forward to having a niece or nephew to spoil.  :-)

9 days left until Christmas.  Are you ready?  I'm really not.  I think most of our shopping is done, but still no tree, nothing has been wrapped, no cookies have been baked...  There's a lot to do in the next few days!  Eep!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Deck The Halls

I finally (yes, FINALLY) started putting up Christmas decorations today.  The Christmas spirit just hadn't moved me until today.  I better get into the spirit, though, since I still have presents to get together.  And Christmas cards.  And a tree.  And...  Holy crap, man.  There are only 10 days left!  Ahhhhhh!!!!

Here's hoping I get everything together in the next few days...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Moronic Monday - I'll Take "I'm An Idiot" For $400, Alex

You know, sometimes all you need to do to feel smarter is turn on the TV*.  There are stupid people all over the damn place!  

For example, check out some of the awesomely stupid answers people have given on game shows over the years.  Yes, stress and anxiety have a lot to do with it, I'm sure, but really?  Let's be honest.  Some of these people are just plain dumb.

On the plus side, you can feel much better about knowing how many legs a cow has when Johnny Not-So-Smart calls out "six!"  

*Note that watching too much TV will likely have adverse affects and your brain may turn to gravy.  Hasn't happened yet, but, someday...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Countdown

Yes, kids, there are officially 15 days left until Christmas Day.  If you're anything like me, that both excites you and terrifies you.  So much shopping, crafting, wrapping and baking to be done!  

To avoid too much stress, what better way to relax than with some awesome seasonal movies?  We'll go for 15 so you have one for each day left!

  1. The Muppet Christmas Carol - Love the muppets?  I do.  This movie is a must-see every season!  I'm pretty sure Michael Caine was actually born to play Scrooge.
  2. John Denver & The Muppets: A Christmas Together - Again, I love the muppets, AND I love John Denver.  Why wouldn't I love this movie?
  3. A Muppet Family Christmas - I grew up watching this every year after my parents recorded it off TV and onto a Beta tape.  Man, I wish I still had it...  Quality stuff right here, kids.
  4. Christmas Eve on Sesame Street - I think this was on the same Beta tape.  I LOVED this special growing up, and I'm pretty sure this movie is part of why I believed Santa was real for as long as I did.
  5. Miracle on 34th Street - If you're going to watch this movie, do yourself a favor and watch the original.  I'm sure the remakes are fine, but the 1947 version is classic.
  6. The Santa Clause - I won't lie, this movie still makes me laugh.  What can I say?  Tim Allen just cracks me up.
  7. A Charlie Brown Christmas - Short and sweet, this is a true must-see.  I love to try to catch it when it's on TV.  I think it just feels more special when I know there are others out there enjoying it with me.
  8. A Claymation Christmas Celebration - If you haven't seen this, go find it and watch it this season.  Claymation is one of the coolest things ever, and this special is hilarious (or, at least, I think it is)!
  9. A Garfield Christmas Special - Another childhood favorite, I just love the scene with Garfield climbing up the tree to put the top ornament on.  Plus, how do you not love Odie?
  10. The Nightmare Before Christmas - It's not just for Halloween my dears!  Tim Burton's masterpiece is great for Christmas, too!
  11. It's A Wonderful Life - If you can believe it, I never saw this movie until I was probably 13 years old.  So for 13 years I missed out on a lovely movie that really captures the Christmas spirit.
  12. Home Alone - Don't look at me like that.  You know you love it. 
  13. How The Grinch Stole Christmas! - Not the blasphemous 2000 Jim Carrey version (no offense, Mr. Carrey), but the good old 1966 original cartoon. 
  14. Holiday Inn - A true Christmas classic, this is a fantastic old movie well worth watching.  Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire... What more do you need?
  15. A Christmas Story - Fa ra ra ra ra, ra-ra ra ra!!!
So there you have it - 15 fantastic films to get you through 'til Christmas!  Enjoy!  :-)

Did I miss your favorite Christmas movie?  Or do you hate my list?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hump Day - I Have A Vibrator & I'm Not Afraid To Use It!

So, according to this article, a 56-year-old woman had herself a dine and dash evening at the local crab shack, and when the police came her her home, she threatened to assault them with - I kid you not - a sex toy.  

Allow me to point out just why I find this so hilarious.

1) This happened in Gurnee, IL.  Anything that happens in Illinois just makes me laugh.
2) A woman in her mid-50's felt the need to skip out on a bill at Joe's Crab Shack.  Really, lady?
3) They won't identify the actual sex toy used to threaten the cops.  This has led to some fantastic comments on the story, among my favorites being, "The policeman refuses to identify the JoyToy. Her lawyers claims it was assault with a friendly weapon."  
4) They actually charged her with a PUI - Pedestrian Under the Influence.  (Ok, this may be more sad than funny.. or maybe just tragically funny?  Either way, worth pointing out.)
5) This actually happened.  Think about that for a second.  This.  Actually.  Happened. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I'm having one of those days where nothing really seems to be working and it's really starting to piss me off.  I've had problems all morning just trying to get things in order, and it's definitely wearing me down.

I won't go into specifics, but suffice it to say that communication is clearly too hard for some people.  Ugh.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Moronic Monday - Ouch

We all know that accidents happen.  It's part of life!  Sometimes there's a viable excuse ("I didn't want to hit the cute squirrel/bunny/dog/giraffe!  I had to swerve!"), but sometimes, it's just better to keep your mouth shut, lest you come up with something like this

P.S.  I think my personal favorite is, "I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and headed over the embankment."  Priceless.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Is Coming

I had a friend who posted her top 10 classic Christmas songs, and I thought, "Hey!  That's cool!  I should do that, too!"  So, just remember Kelly - copying is a form of flattery. ;-)

The following lists are not in any particular order, but rather as I come across them.

Riki's 5 Favorite "Traditional" Christmas Songs
Typical Christmas carols, with all the churchy goodness.
1) "O Holy Night" - There are a number of artists who have covered this song.  I remember first falling in love with it when listening to Hanson's "Snowed In" Christmas CD when I was 13.  I suggest the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's version of this song, but any will do.
2) "The Holly & The Ivy" - No idea what my favorite version of this song is.  All I know is that I love it.
3) "Angels We Have Heard On High" - Again, no clue what my favorite version is.  I know this is my mom's favorite Christmas song, though.  I grew up knowing that, and I think it just slowly became one of my favorites, too.
4) "The Twelve Days of Christmas" - There have been some great versions of this.  The only one I can listen to more than once a season, though, is John Denver & The Muppets ("Fiiiiiiive gooooooooold riiiiiings... Ba dum, dum, dum!").  Classic.  <3
5) "Silent Night" - It's too classic not to be on my list.  Instrumental versions can be just as beautiful as vocal ones, and no matter what, you'd recognize it as a traditional Christmas song.

Riki's 5 Favorite "Popular" Christmas Songs
The songs that everyone adores, but you probably wouldn't sing door-to-door. 
1) "Sleigh Ride" - Doesn't matter which version; it always gets me bouncing along.  Though, I do really enjoy the Boston Pops version (if for no other reason, than the whip noise they make).
2) "White Christmas" - My favorite version has to be The Drifters (a la "Home Alone").  What's more fun than singing, "I-yi-yi-yi'm dreaming of a white Christmas..."?  Few things, my friends.  Few things.
3) "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" - I adore Judy Garland singing this song, but my true favorite comes from the John Denver & The Muppets Christmas special.  John and Rowlf do this as a duet, and it melts my heart every time I hear it. 
4) "Santa Baby" - Eartha Kitt's version is the only one worth listening to (sorry, Madonna).
5) "Feliz Navidad" - I just want to rock out to this every time I hear it.  Kudos to you, Jose Feliciano!

Riki's 5 Other Favorite Christmas Songs
These are the songs that you probably have heard, but you might not even know they exist.  Some of them could be put into the category above, but they get a special place because I love them so much.
1) "The Chipmunk's Christmas Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" - Because every kid still wants a hoooooooola hooooooooop.
2) "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas" - Gayla Peevey had the original of this song.  I believe it has since been re-done, but I still go for Gayla's version.  :-)
3) "364 Days To Go" - One of my favorite Brad Paisley songs, this is a sweet song about waiting for Christmas.
4) "Song For A Winter's Night" - Sarah McLachlan does such a beautiful job with this song. 
5) "The Christmas Song" - Not the song you'd expect by the title, this is Weezer singing a fairly sad song that I can't help but love.

Now, you have to understand that I love probably 99% of all Christmas music, so this is just a sampling of the songs I truly enjoy each winter.  There are TONS more songs that I could've included, but there's only so much time in the day, my dears.

Now go get your carol on!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

YES!!!  My packages finally came!!!  FCOL, man...

When I went on my lunch break at 1, I noticed a mini van pull into our driveway and thought, "Aha!!!  They're finally here!"  The guy was nice enough...  A little spacey (or high - he asked me how I was doing today...  twice...  within a minute...), but polite.  I doubt he has any clue what I've been going through waiting for these damn packages.

So, the full update is that I have my packages.  No response yet from the shipping company, and no response from Amazon (though, in all fairness, I just sent them an email an hour or so ago), but I have my shit.  This pleases me.

What have I been waiting for, you ask?  Glee: The Music, Volume 4, a knife for my hubby, and a Christmas present.  Nothing spectacular, but still great nonetheless.  :-) 

Edit: At 1:42 PM, I got the following from the shipping company.

Thank you for contacting the XXXX Customer Support Center.  We appreciate the opportunity to be of assistance with your delivery needs and are committed to providing the highest degree of customer service.

We have received your email regarding the status of your Amazon orders AAAA, BBBB and CCCC.

Our driver has indicated the order has been delivered and left at your front door.

Please contact Amazon at 866-216-1072 for further assistance and information.

Thanks again for contacting the XXXX Customer Support Center.  We look forward to handling your future delivery needs and truly appreciate your business." 

Awesome.  Thanks for waiting to answer until 30 minutes after I got my delivery.  Which, of course, was 3 days late.  That's really professional.   

Also, I feel I must point out that the driver clearly did not leave it at my front door.  He delivered it to me personally, as I answered the door.  They also didn't address any of my concerns regarding the inaccurate information on their site.  Here's hoping Amazon gives them the boot soon...

Recipient Not Home

So, as I believe I've mentioned before, I work from home.  This means, of course, that I'm home the VAST majority of the time.  I'm up around 7:30 AM and I'm here working until about 4:30 PM.  I don't go out for lunch (I only get 30 minutes, so I'd spend at least half of that in the car if I let), I don't travel for my job, and my "office" area is next to the front door.

And yet, two days this week, a particular delivery service has left notes on their site indicating that I, the recipient, was not home at the time of their attempted deliveries.  

I call shenanigans.

Here's what I sent them through their "Contact Us" feature (with some info removed for privacy/security reasons):

I'm currently waiting on the following shipments: AAAA, BBBB, and CCCC.

The first two shipments show an attempted delivery on Monday morning (11/29).  I was home all day and did not hear the doorbell or a knock at the door, so I'm not sure how I missed this delivery attempt.

On 11/30, I was contacted twice to tell me that my shipments had been delayed and would arrive the following day (Wed, 12/1). 

On 12/1, I checked the site, which indicated that the packages were out for delivery at 9:59 AM.  Again, I was home all day and continued to check for updates.  This morning when I checked, the site indicated that an attempted delivery was made at either 7:10 AM or 9:10 AM (depending on which tracking number I look up) yesterday morning.  Since the site didn't indicate they were out for delivery until almost 10 AM, I'm not sure how that works.

I can shrug off the first "attempted delivery" as it could be possible that I somehow missed it (though, I'm not sure how my dog would have missed someone knocking or ringing the doorbell - she's pretty sensitive to those sounds).  But I know I was home all day yesterday, waiting for my packages.

I don't know if the data is being entered incorrectly, if delivery attempts really are being made, or what is going on.  If possible, I would like an email explanation of what the issue may be and when I can expect my shipments to arrive (your site says they are "out for delivery" again this morning, but I just don't know that I can trust that information). 

Thank for your time and assistance.

So, as you can see, something is not quite right.  My personal belief is that they didn't attempt any sort of delivery at all.  Rather, I think the "delay" is the real issue (for what reason, I couldn't even begin to speculate), and they're just trying to cover their asses.  I'm sure this works for 75-90% of the time, since many people are NOT home during business hours.  But for the few of us home all day?  Not so much.

This wouldn't bother me so much if it weren't for the fact that I have an Amazon Prime account and get free 2-day shipping.  What if I had been counting on that 2 day shipping time?  Even though they aren't time-sensitive, it still irks the hell out of me because I've been promised that delivery time.  I was looking forward to getting the first two packages on Monday and the last on Tuesday or even Wednesday.  Now it's Thursday morning and I haven't seen hide nor hair of them.  Not cool.

I'll try to keep you all updated as to when the packages arrive, what kind of response I get, etc.  In the meantime, remember to smile.  It could always be worse.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hump Day - Phone Sex, Cyber Sex, Kinect Sex?

I have to imagine that there have been substitutes for physical sexual interaction for nearly as long as sex has been around.  As a species, we've written about sex, so you'd imagine we probably exchanged letters about it (snail mail sex?).  We have nude magazines and video pornography for our viewing pleasures.  We've used the phone to verbally get it on.  And of course there's cybersex (who needs the real thing when you can type it out?). 

But all of these options are becoming trite.  It's clearly time for something new!  Something fresh and exciting!

Enter Kinect Sex.  As the article says, we could be within reach of having sex via video game.  Essentially, the site indicates that the Kinect technology is sophisticated enough that it could be used to simulate sex via a dildo or even one's own body.  

Someday in the future, when we get that urge, we can hang up the phone and go AFK so we can connect with Kinect!

Or, you know, you could try real sex.  Just a thought.

On that note, don't forget that today is World AIDS Day.  Reflect on those in your life affected by, struggling with, or have been lost to AIDS and consider volunteering or donating to help the cause.  If only we could be as close to finding a cure as we are to Kinect Sex...