Friday, December 20, 2013

Covering Christmas

You might recall that I'm a bit of a music freak. You might also remember that I've already written a post about cover songs and how they aren't necessarily as terrible as everyone assumes. And it's also possible that you've read that I love me some Christmas music. Yes? OK.

Because of the nature of Christmas music, there are a LOT of covers out there. Most traditional songs don't really have an identifiable "original" version, and newer songs are still covered left and right because... well... Christmas! In other words, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a Christmas cover. And that's OK. 

Personally, I think there are some songs that are just meant to be covered, especially in the world of Christmas carols. A  new take on a song can be a wonderful thing, and in some cases, it might make a less tolerable song something you actually enjoy listening to. 

That being said, here are a couple of my favorite Christmas covers and what makes them so delightful.

1) "The Twelve Days of Christmas" as performed by Straight No Chaser. I previously wrote that the only version of this song I can listen to more than once a season is John Denver & The Muppets. Since that was written, though, I have discovered the magic of Straight No Chaser. (In fact, Hubby and I just saw them live this week for the first time! What an epic show they put on, too!) If you're looking for a traditional version of this song, then this isn't the version for you. But, if you're looking for a fun, goofy, new spin on it, you need to give it a listen. Now. On a related note, their version of "Wonderful Christmastime" with Sir Paul is also a great cover; not that I don't love the original, but there's something about a capella that just gets me, man.

2) "The Little Drummer Boy" as performed by Bing Crosby and David Bowie. Hubby and I were in the car last weekend and I heard the beginning of this song and went to turn the radio down, saying, "Yeah, I just can't get into this song. It's not one of my favorites." And then I realized it was the Bing and Bowie version and turned it back up going, "Except for this version, because this version is epic!" Hubby laughed and told me I couldn't even hate something right, which I decided to take as a compliment. Anywhoozles, before this special existed, if you had told someone that Bing Crosby and David Bowie would be doing a duet together, most peoples' heads would have exploded from the sheer insanity of the idea. And then it happened. I'm pretty sure some heads did explode, but the song that resulted from this strange pairing is beyond what anyone could have imagined.

3) "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings" as performed by Barenaked Ladies featuring Sarah McLachlan. OK, this is technically two songs, but whatever. The point is that BNL took a couple of fairly traditional (and maybe a bit stuffy) Christmas songs and made them pretty freakin' cool. Partnering up with Sarah was a pretty genius move, too. Her vocals give back a touch of the traditional feel without going completely backwards. I love it.

4) "My Grown-Up Christmas List" as performed by Michael Bublé. I'm pretty sure he just makes everything sound dreamier. Other versions tend to get on my nerves, but Michael can bring it home like no one else. 

5) "All I Want For Christmas Is You" as performed by Mariah Carey featuring Jimmy Fallon & The Roots. Is it still a cover if the same artist is performing it? Whatever. The point is that this version makes my heart happy and makes me feel warm inside. If this doesn't say Christmas, I don't know what does.

And there you have it! 

What Christmas covers make the season merry and bright for you? Let me know so I can add them to my Christmas playlist! :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

But How Do You REALLY Feel?

I'm going to assume that most people have asked for reassurance at some point in their lives. Asking a friend if an outfit looks good. Asking a coworker to look over something for you. Asking someone to wish you luck. It's a nice feeling to know that someone else believes in us, no matter how trivial it might seem.

But wanting reassurance from time to time is a lot different than needing constant reassurance. You know that friend or acquaintance that's always asking people things like, "We're friends, right?" or "You're sure you like hanging out with me?" The person that seems to be forever fishing for compliments or positivity; talking about how terrible her singing voice is or how he'll never find a significant other. The person that you really did like once upon a time, but all of the negativity and neediness has just gotten to be too much and you're not as sure anymore.

Yep. That's me. I am that person.

Or maybe it was me. I like to think I've grown past some of that, but I do find myself with that itch for someone to tell me I'm doing a good job or that I'm as funny as I think I am. It's a hard habit to break. And it's a possible risk factor for depression.

Ru Paul is famous for saying, "If you can't love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?" This is more like, "If you can't love yourself, how the hell is anybody else gonna love you?" 

When you have low self-esteem, believing in yourself is pretty much impossible. Or at least it felt that way to me. So I went looking for other people to believe in me. And while I loved the reassurance and praise, the positive feelings I took away never lasted. I was constantly wondering if the reassurance had been genuine. Did they really mean it, or did they say it to be nice? And for that matter, do they even really like me or are they just putting up with me? How could I know for sure?

And so I kept asking. I'm sure to a lot of people it seemed like I was purely fishing for compliments, but it was beyond that. Pardon the cliche, but it's like an addiction in some ways. You go looking for the reassurance. You get some and it feels good. So good! But only for awhile. Then you come down and you feel worse than you did before. You need MORE reassurance. So you go looking for more, and the cycle repeats. 

At a certain point, your questions become ridiculous. Even after someone has reassured you, you ask, "Are you sure? Is that how you REALLY feel?" And my bet is that gets old REALLY fast. Logic told me that if people were willingly hanging out with me, they were friends. If they confided in me, shared things with me, they were good friends. Maybe even best friends. But depression kicks logic to the curb. I would start wondering if particular friends really liked me, or if it was something else. Convenience, maybe. Or just being nice. Or maybe they needed or wanted something from me (though, I couldn't imagine what, since I thought I had nothing to offer). I thought K (yes, my "sister") was only my friend because we've known each other my whole life. I thought Bestie was just being nice to me. Hell, I even thought Hubby was just trying to be a nice guy and cheer me up when we first started dating.

Even now I struggle from time to time. It's impossible to know exactly how someone else feels about you; you can't read minds (much as you might try). Some people are going to lie or sugarcoat things. But for the most part, if you consider someone a good friend and you genuinely like them, there's a good chance the feeling is mutual. I know that my sister doesn't just put up with me. I know that Bestie is one of the best friends I've ever had. And I know that Hubby loves me to no end. I know this because it's how I feel about them. And unless they ever give me a reason to doubt that, I'm going to choose to keep believing it.

So piggybacking on my last post, if you know a habitual reassurance-seeker (or if you are one), don't assume they're just attention whores. Some of them are. It happens. But if you see some other potential symptoms of depression or low self-esteem, they may just need to be reminded that they ARE worth something. And they might need a nudge, push, or shove toward a long-term fix. You can't be there to reassure them 100% of the time, but you can be a friend 100% of the time. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Everybody Hurts Sometimes, But Nobody Should Hurt All the Time

Life has been busy since June 6th's post. Brief recap.

June: I turned 29. Hubby turned 30. K came home for the summer (a drive that I was lucky enough to help with again). Saw Barenaked Ladies at Summerfest.

July: Aside from the traditional July 4th festivities with K, not much in July. We did go camping (which was great) but I forgot batteries for my camera (which was NOT great). Hubby's cherished project car (the '81 Camaro) burned to the ground. Oh, saw Paul McCartney at Miller Park! That was epic.

August: Went to State Fair. Hubby and I went on vacation with the puppers (road trip to/from Medford, OR). Fall semester started at the end of August.

September: Hubby and I celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary (by going to the zoo, of course).

Sprinkle a few Brewers games, a lot of grilling out, and a few more zoo trips and you're pretty much caught up. Ta da!

The real reason I wanted to write today is that it's World Mental Health Day/National Depression Screening Day. Obviously I've written about my depression before, so I (hopefully) won't bore you by repeating myself too much.

Depression blows. Seriously. And it so frequently goes undiagnosed. Sometimes because people think what they're feeling is normal. Sometimes they don't recognize the symptoms. Sometimes they believe that it's something to be ashamed of, which is the saddest of all to me. 

So, let's look at those 3 quick. (Yes, there are other reasons, but this is my blog. Deal.)

1) It's normal to feel like this. Sometimes, yes. Everyone feels sad sometimes. And sometimes we feel so sad, we refer to it as "depressed" (because I think we like to use longer, more complex words for more serious feelings... or maybe that's just me).  If you feel down after an upsetting experience (a loss, maybe), that's "normal." (I usually hate the word normal, but hopefully you can see why i have to use it here.) It's normal to cry and hate the world and want to curl up under the covers until things get better. But what about those times when nothing all that bad has happened and you feel that way? What if it lasts for weeks or months at a time? Does that seem as normal? Doesn't that sound like it warrants looking into?

For example, when Hubby and I lived in our apartment (which now seems like AGES ago), I would have episodes of depression in which really (and I mean really) trivial things made me feel worse. I once dropped a box of macaroni on the floor and wound up sobbing and screaming over it, convinced I was an epic failure and couldn't do anything right. An appropriate reaction might've been swearing or being pissy about cleaning it up, but I had a breakdown. That's not "normal."

2) It's not like I want to kill myself or anything. Suicidal thoughts are only one possible symptom of depression. And you don't even have to want to actively kill yourself... you can want to die without wanting to take the action to do so. But even if you don't have thoughts about your own demise, there are a bunch of other symptoms that could indicate you have some kind of depressive disorder. Sleeping too much or too little. A major change in appetite. Having no energy or interest in doing things you usually enjoy. Feeling like you're worthless. Problems with concentrating and making decisions. Even physical things like unexplained aches and pains.

Right before I went back on fluoxetine in 2008, I was experiencing a lot of these other symptoms. I was sleeping every chance I got and was still exhausted. I wasn't motivated to get out of the apartment to do things, and I usually lacked the energy to do much anyway. I pretty much always thought I was worthless, and I let Hubby make as many decisions as possible; everything else I just kind of ignored. (What should I wear today? Meh. I'll stay in my pajamas.) Even though I didn't want to kill myself, I was definitely experiencing some depression.

3) I can't go to a therapist/doctor. I'm not crazy/sick or That would be so embarrassing. Newsflash: Therapy isn't just for the "crazies" anymore, friends. Even if you are completely free of mental illness, you probably still experience some stress and/or worry (and if you don't, please let me know because I'm pretty sure the scientific community would love to study you). And if this stress, worry, sadness, or whatever is at all impacting your life in a negative way, you could probably benefit from a visit to the doctor or therapist. 

I took myself off of my medication when I was younger because I didn't want to have to rely on it to be myself. And I was (mostly) OK for awhile. But when an episode hit, I wasn't really prepared to handle it. These days, if I drop the macaroni now, I just curse, clean it up, and grab the next box or look for another option. My medication allows me to function like a normal person, and I wouldn't have the meds if I hadn't sought help. And while I'm not in therapy at the moment, I'm definitely not opposed to it! Certain therapies can be more effective than medication, particularly in the long run... it would be nice not to need the antidepressants for the rest of my life, but they work well for now.

So where do you start? Wherever you feel comfortable. You can do some research or take an assessment. You can talk to someone you trust, or make an appointment with your primary doctor. And if you need immediate help and don't know where to turn, don't forget that there's always someone to listen at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255).

Well, I hope I didn't sound too much like a bad PSA, and I hope you took something away from it! If nothing else, please remember this: No matter how you're feeling, who you are, or what you're going through, there is someone out there to offer love and support. You're not alone. Hey, you've got me, right? :)   

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Crime Time: Girls Just Want to Be Dumb

So this is clearly turning into a Thursday post. Sorry about that, but some of the reports aren't updated until sometime on Wednesday. 

Anywhoozles, here we go! 

Some of this week's best come to us from some very special ladies...

A woman, age and residence not released, was arrested for fraud after attempting to have a fraudulent prescription filled at Walgreens, 6020 W. Brown Deer Road, at 9 p.m. May 23. She said the prescription for Promethazine with codeine cough syrup was for her nephew. This cough syrup is often mixed with Mountain Dew or Sprite to make "Purple Drank" a drink that causes people to get high. 

Your nephew. Right. Seems legit.

A woman, age and residence not released, was arrested for disorderly conduct after yelling and using profanities at Great Clips, 8689 N. Port Washington Road, at 4:50 p.m. May 23. The woman was angry, she said, because she couldn't get "a perm." She frightened other customers and two young children who were in the salon. She drove away but was stopped.  

Honestly, they were just trying to save her from herself...  

A woman, age and residence not released, was arrested for disorderly conduct after yelling and using profanities while in the drive-thru and inside McDonald's, 8737 N. Port Washington Road, at 2 p.m. May 26. The woman was in the drive-thru while on the phone and when asked either to order or move on yelled "Shut the (expletive) up" to the employee. She then parked her car and went inside where she continued yelling. When another employee asked her to be quiet she said, "I'm a grown person and can speak how I (expletive) want."

What the (expletive), man? This is a grown (expletive) person! How dare you ask her to be quiet, you (expletive)!

A woman, age and residence not released, was cited for disorderly conduct in the 1100 block of East Capitol Drive at 10:15 p.m. May 26. The woman, riding her bicycle on the sidewalk, stopped and started yelling profanities and making obscene gestures.

While it was probably the profanity and obscene gestures that did her in, I think Hubby might argue that worst part of this crime was that she was riding on the sidewalk.

An officer who pulled a vehicle over after observing it had only three functioning tires and was smoking from under the hood arrested the female driver for drunken driving on Main Street and Pilgrim Road at 4:22 a.m. May 29. After taking the woman into custody, the officer found two lorazepam tablets in her possession and she was also arrested for possession of illegally obtained prescription medication. Her blood alcohol content was unavailable.

All kinds of special. ALL kinds.

Now, don't worry, fellas. We've got some for you, too!

A man, age and residence not released, was arrested for disorderly conduct after yelling profanities inside Kopp's, 5373 N. Port Washington Road, at 4:30 p.m. June 1. The man became angry when he tried to order a shake and was told he had to get into another line. He then yelled and screamed with children present and also threatened an employee. He fled on a motor scooter but was stopped telling police he had "anger issues."  

Though they seem fun, and it might sound like a good idea at the time, remember that motor scooters don't make good getaway vehicles. (Though in his defense, if I'd already stood in line and then got told I had to stand in another line just to get my damn shake, I'd be pretty pissed off, too.)

Two unidentified people took several bushes from Aldi, 4615 W. Layton Ave., on May 28 and drove off.

Two weeks ago it was trees and dirt. Last week it was gardening tools. Now it's bushes. Someone's going to have a lovely evil lair when all is said and done!  

A man was arrested for aggravated battery at a home in the 7200 block of South Shepard Avenue after he threw a pair of grass shears at a woman, causing a 2.5-inch cut on her left wrist and a 1-inch cut on her left thumb that required stitches at 8:40 a.m. May 27. The man was angry because the woman told him to clean up food he had left on a patio deck.  

That's a totally normal reaction, right? No? Shit... I've been going about things all wrong then!

A resident at an apartment building at 2613 University Drive called police at 4:47 p.m. May 29 to say his neighbor took his dog's feces from the woods near the complex and put it on his doorstep with a note stating clean up after your dog. The caller said he feels he does not need to clean up the feces because he hasn't for three years and thinks his neighbor is harassing him. Police advised him he does need to clean up after his dog. The neighbor was advised on leaving feces and profane notes.

Admitting you haven't been cleaning up your dog's shit for the past 3 years isn't the best way to start your defense. Honesty is a good policy, but silence is also golden... 

And my favorite one this week: 

A resident reported that a couch she had put outside her home for anyone to take was sitting in Greenlawn Park, in the 7700 block of South Howell Avenue, at 12:50 p.m. May 26. An officer spoke to a man who was sleeping on the couch, who said he didn't think anyone wanted the couch and decided to take it to the park to take a nap. The couch was moved back to the residence so it could be picked up by the Street Department.

It was there for the taking! No one specified WHERE to take it, right? The guy wanted a nap and there was a free couch; who wouldn't take advantage of that sweet deal?!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Crime Time: S-M-R-T

Because of the long weekend, some of the reports are still behind, so forgive me if this week's post is a little lacking.

A car with two passengers and Hello Kitty stickers on the back windows was observed pulling up and taking mail from a mailbox in the 17000 block of Martha Drive at 11:16 a.m. May 21.

Damn that Hello Kitty! She's clearly a bad influence.

Gardening tools and gloves were stolen from an open garage in the 3700 block of West Dory Drive between 1:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. May 20.

At least they were smart enough to steal the gloves, too. Clearly they have some serious gardening to get done!

Police are seeking a 33-year-old woman who shoplifted a total of $54 worth of groceries at Pick 'n Save, 7780 S. Lovers Lane Road, on three separate occasions between April 23 and May 4. The suspect was identified by her Advantage Card, which she swiped in the self-checkout lanes during each incident.

As a general rule, if you're planning to steal shit, you probably don't need to use your savings card.

Two 69-year-old Franklin men were arrested for disorderly conduct after they had a physical altercation in the 6800 block of South 109th Street at about 11 a.m. May 21. One of the men struck the other in the face with binoculars, and a scuffle ensued, resulting in both men sustaining minor injuries.

This sounds like an awesome sitcom waiting to happen. FOX, I'm looking at you...

A resident in the 5300 block of South 43rd Street called police at 12:10 p.m. May 24 to report she saw a bobcat in her yard during the past several nights. Police responded and saw no evidence of a bobcat in the resident's yard.

I live right around here, and the only bobcat you're likely to see is this kind. (Or possibly this kind, but even that's a long-shot.)

An officer who stopped to assist a disabled vehicle at 108th Street and Edgerton Avenue at 6:30 a.m. May 25 discovered the vehicle was not disabled but that the driver had stopped her car because she was deathly afraid of spiders and believed one was crawling on her hand. The officer assisted the driver by checking for spiders in the vehicle and she was sent on her way.

This sounds like something I would do. Actually, funny/true story for you all. When Hubby and I first started hanging out, we were driving around when a spider dropped down near him. He flipped his shit a little (who wouldn't?) and flung it out the window as fast as he could. That's when I knew I liked him. :)

A 21-year-old Palmyra man was arrested for drunken driving, possession of drug paraphernalia, open intoxicants, suspended registration, not carrying a driver's license, failure to have insurance and unsafe lane deviation in the 14400 block of Interstate 43 at 6:10 a.m. May 19. The man failed to stop for more than 10 minutes while he was followed by a squad car. An open bottle of rum was found in the car along with a pipe and jar both with marijuana residue and an orange pill which is being tested. The man, who admitted the marijuana and paraphernalia were his, said he was "just a pot head." He also told police he had just purchased the pipe and asked if he could have it back. His blood alcohol content was 0.14.

Telling the cops you're "just a pot head" is probably not the best defense after you've been driving under the influence without your license or insurance (and while having a suspended registration), but points for the attempt to get the newly purchased pipe back. I mean, it's never gonna happen, but I like the effort. Go big or go to jail. Or both.

A 76 year-old man and a 73-old woman both of Mequon were cited for disorderly conduct at an apartment complex in the 10800 block of North Port Washington Road about noon May 22. The man said the woman insulted him, saying he needed a bath and should cut his dog's toenails. The woman said he pushed and grabbed her. After they were cited, they were told not to talk to each other. However, later that day about 5 p.m. the man reportedly spoke to the woman and was issued another citation.

Telling someone they need a bath is a legitimate insult, but that his dog's toenails needed to be cut? Leave the dog out of this, ma'am. 

Officers responded to Mainstay Suites, 1001 W. College Ave., after the front desk clerk reported there was a woman in the parking lot who was too drunk to walk at 4:55 a.m. May 18. While officers were enroute to the hotel, the clerk called back and stated that a man just wheeled the woman through the lobby on a luggage cart and went into the elevator. An officer spoke to the man, who stated the woman was too heavy to lift without assistance, so he used a luggage trolley to take her back to the room. The man also told police he had taken the woman to senior prom in 1964 and was reuniting with her for the weekend.

Awww, how... sweet?

Police were dispatched to 725 American Ave. at 3:58 p.m. May 21 on a report of a suspicious package in the parking structure. It turned out to be an abandoned coffeemaker.

Yep. That happened. *facepalm*

A woman called police after someone tried using her debit card in Israel on May 13. She gave her information to set up what she thought would be a new AOL account but was on a site posing as AOL.

"New" and "AOL" shouldn't appear in any sentence together. At least, not since 1995. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Crime Time: Dirt, Shit & Spit

A day late, I know, but hopefully you'll forgive me. :)

An egg was found smashed inside a mailbox in the 9200 block of North Waverley Drive at 11:30 a.m. May 19. No damage was reported.

No damage?? That poor egg is totaled! Have you no heart?

A man was arrested for physical abuse of a child and that child, a male juvenile, ages and residences not released, for disorderly conduct after they got into a fight during a basketball game at Fairy Chasm Park, 5712 Fairy Chasm Road, at 5:15 p.m. April 24. The fight started when the boy blocked the man's shot and then the two began to "trash talk." No major injuries were reported.

When I first started reading this one, I went, "Oh shit, physical abuse of a child... How awful!" And then after reading I was like, well... Maaaaaaybe he had it coming.*

Six boxes of shrimp valued at $180 were taken from Na Na Asian Fusion & Sushi Bar, 4511 N. Oakland Ave., at 3 p.m. May 10. The suspect was a male, about 6-feet tall who entered through a rear door and left with the shrimp.  

Poor shrimp. They were just prawns in his game.

A resident called police after picking up "several pieces of dog feces" from a yard in the 2600 block of East Edgewood Avenue at 7 p.m. May 12. The resident asked the police to do a DNA test so the dog could be located. 

While I understand being upset about the dog shit, asking for a DNA test is not a normal reaction. I'd have set up a camera to see whose dog it was. Then I'd put the shit in a box. Then I'd put that box inside of another box and mail it to myself. And when it arrived, I'd smash it with a hammer! Wait, no. That doesn't get me anywhere good. Scratch that. I'd put it in a bag, set it on fire and leave it at the jackass's house. Much better.

Eleven 55-gallon drums filled with dirt were taken from Burger King, 4555 W. Forest Home Ave., between May 8 and May 14.

Now how will they make their Whoppers?!

An intoxicated male was lying on the ground after he walked into a tree and fell down at 76th Street and Cold Spring Road at 2:30 a.m. May 19. His girlfriend arrived at the scene and picked him up.

He's lucky his girlfriend is so nice. I'd have taken pictures and called him George of the Jungle. At minimum. 

A 24-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for drunken driving, with a prior conviction, driving with a revoked license, also with a prior conviction, a warrant, refusal to take a breath test and driving west in an eastbound lane on Mequon Road at River Road at 2:15 a.m. May 15. He told police he had not been drinking and was on his way "to my crib." His preliminary blood alcohol content was 0.279, and after a judge issued a warrant he was taken for a blood draw.  

I think this one largely speaks for itself. Moving on.

A small blue spruce tree was stolen from a residential property in the 2600 block of East Oakwood Road between 3:30 p.m. May 14 and 3:30 p.m. May 15. This is the second occurrence of tree theft at the residence in less than one week.

Let me see if I understand this. Someone is coming into this yard and stealing trees, right? So, either they're digging large enough holes to pull the trees out of the ground whole, or they're chopping them down... And no one has witnessed this? Seems shady to me.

Police and firefighters responded to a fire alarm at Tanglewood Apartments, 1785 W. Meyer Lane, at 5:43 a.m. May 16. An officer spoke to a resident who stated his wife accidentally triggered the alarm as she attempted to hit a cockroach that was climbing up the wall near the fire alarm. An officer spoke with the manager, and he confirmed there was a problem with bugs at the building.

For the record, Hubby and I used to live at Tanglewood. All I can say is ewwwwwwwwwwww!

A woman was arrested for spitting in the face of an employee of Hot Topic at Mayfair, 2500 N. Mayfair Road, at 8:53 May 14. She said she was mad at the employee for calling her "ghetto."

In the woman's defense, the employee really shouldn't be insulting customers. In the employee's defense, she was probably pretty ghetto.

And now, because springtime = animals being crazy...

Police responded to a report of a large turtle in the street on Freistadt Road and River Lane at 10:50 a.m. May 14. The turtle was pushed into the ditch so that regular traffic could resume. 

That must've been a big ass turtle. I mean, if I was in the middle of the street, I don't think it would stop traffic... 

A resident in the W143 N9600 block of Amber Drive called police after she found a yellow and black snake in her front yard at 11:55 a.m. May 15. Upon arrival, the responding officer observed a large grass snake, about 21/2 to 3 feet in length, disappear under a group of bushes. The officer advised the resident to call an exterminator or purchase snake repellent.

Is snake repellent a thing? (A Google search indicates that yes, apparently it is.)

A boa constrictor was found in the front yard of a residence in the 12000 block of West Layton Avenue about 11:30 a.m. May 15. By the time police arrived, the resident had the snake in a bag, which officers took to the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Center.

Sir/Ma'am, I'm not sure how you managed to get the boa in the bag... But well done. Well fucking done.

*I say this only because I imagine it's probably an 18-20 year old who hit a 16 year old, you know? More than likely, it's not like some parent was beating the crap out of their 5 year old... Nothing funny about that shit.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesday Crime Time: Gone to the Animals

Happy Hump Day! Here we go!

A Shorewood man, age not released, was warned for dogs at large after a woman called police to report his two schnauzers "came at her" as she walked in the 4500 block of North Wilson Drive at 1 p.m. May 7. She told him his dogs should be on a leash and he told her, "You need to be on a leash." He later apologized. 

Personally, I'd like to give him a high five for that quick retort, though I feel like he completely missed a golden opportunity to call her a bitch. (It's a dog joke, son.)

A woman, age and residence not released, was arrested for drunken driving, with a prior conviction, illegal possession of a Schedule II narcotic, driving with a revoked license, defective tail lights, defective brake lights, failure to have insurance and open intoxicants after weaving in traffic in the 4800 block of North Sheffield Avenue about 2:45 a.m. May 7. The woman had three Adderall pills in her purse which she said weren't hers. She admitted knowing her license was revoked. Her BAC was 0.12.

On the plus side... Nope. I got nothin'. 

A 32-year-old Brookfield man was cited for littering after he illegally dumped seven large, empty boxes in the trash at Applebee's, 20101 W. Bluemound Road, before 3:30 p.m. May 4.  

He could have at least dumped them in the recycling bin. Save the planet, dude.

Three men, at least one of them carrying a handgun, robbed Kentucky Fried Chicken, 6311 S. 27th St., at 10 p.m. May 10. The men, two wearing bandanas and one wearing a monkey mask, fled the store on foot with an undisclosed amount of money. Police are investigating.

See, this is what happens when the man in the yellow hat is replaced with two men in bandanas: Curious George Robs a KFC. 

A caller reported two cows running in the road in the 9000 block of West County Line Road about 1:30 p.m. May 11. Police made contact with the owner of the cows, who retrieved them.

I know there's a "Why did the cows cross the road?" joke in here somewhere... In the mean time, anyone who is still partying must immediately stop; the cows have come home.

A staff member at Kindred Transitional Care and Rehab, 5700 W. Layton Ave., called police after two patients began arguing at dinner and one of them threw a sandwich at 7:40 p.m. May 8. 

There are nicer ways of sending your order back that don't result in the police showing up, but where's the fun in that?

About $1 in change was stolen from a home and a television set was disconnected but not stolen during a residential burglary. The back door was forced open, and witnesses said they saw two vehicles in the driveway of the home between 7:30 and 8 p.m. May 4. The home is uninhabited. The location of this burglary was redacted by police.

Worst. Burglars. Ever.

"Man robs Wade gas station of cash, bread and bag of pork skins." 

This one was sent to me for special inclusion in Crime Time from a friend/reader. You can check out the story here, but the headline pretty much says it all. I hope those pork skins were worth it, dirt bag! You are a MENACE to the pork product industry and we will not stand for this injustice!! I mean, what's next? Bacon? Oh NO you do not!!

And now a couple to make you feel a little warm and fuzzy (and possibly restore some of your faith in humanity... but probably not).
An officer was flagged down by a bicyclist in the median at 27th Street and Sycamore Avenue to assist a duck and her ducklings across the street at 12:50 p.m. May 1. The officer helped move the ducks to a pond.

Police received a call for assistance about 2:25 p.m. May 11 after a mother duck and her ducklings got stuck in a median while attempting to cross the road in the 7500 block of West Rawson Avenue. The ducks were no longer in the area when an officer arrived.

A resident called police to report a duckling fell into a sewer near the pond behind Pick 'n Save on Sylvan Circle and Squire Drive at 6:55 p.m. May 11. The duckling was removed from the sewer and reunited with ducks that were waiting near the scene.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wed-nes-day CT

Yep, it's Wednesday. You know what that means... Crime Time!

A resident reported fraudulent use of his credit card, which he still had, at 5:30 p.m. April 27. It had been used at stores in Grand Avenue and Mayfair malls purchasing items valued at more than $700 including electronics and Major League Baseball caps from a number of teams including the New York Yankees, Seattle Pilots and Philadelphia Phillies. There was also a charge for $12 at Panera Bread. 

Rookie mistake. You need to carbo-load BEFORE the shopping.

Five Cudahy residents were arrested for disorderly conduct at a duplex in the 5900 block of South Hately Avenue, at around 7 a.m. April 30, after they engaged in a brawl over a dispute between the two families living in the duplex. The incident began when a 21-year-old man, also charged with battery and the only person that does not live on the premises, confronted a 23-year-old man over alleged insults to his mother. The younger man began punching the older man, and both men picked up small bats. The older man's 18-year-old wife then attacked the other man with her own bat, at which point the younger man's 17-year-old sister and 38-year-old mother entered the fray to subdue her. The 21-year-old man was hospitalized for a deep wound he received to his head.

Remember: Yo Mama jokes are only funny if everyone's in on the joke.

An 18-year-old Cudahy man was arrested for firing his handgun at a man in a passing car near 14th and Minnesota avenues, around 3 p.m. April 30. A resident followed the man's car to record his license plate number, and about 30 minutes later the man was located hiding behind a door in a residence in the 900 block of West Harrison Avenue in Milwaukee, and brought back to South Milwaukee. The victim was not injured, but at least one bullet pierced his car. The victim said that the shooting was about a drug deal that had gone bad a year ago, while the perpetrator said that it was because the victim had set him up in a robbery case.  

So, this was either about a bad drug deal from a year ago or because someone was framed for robbery? Seems legit.

A 35-year-old Milwaukee woman was arrested for shoplifting women's clothing and a purse at Goodwill Industries, 6941 S. Riverwood Blvd., at 1:35 p.m. May 3.

A 30-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for shoplifting after he was seen concealing merchandise at Goodwill Industries, 6941 S. Riverwood Blvd., at 3:20 p.m. May 3. 

Dude. It's Goodwill. If you need it badly enough, just ask.

A 51-year-old man was arrested for shoplifting after police found $53 worth of hair clippers in his possession that belonged to Walmart, 6701 S. 27th St., after he was found passed out in Oak Creek at 2:55 p.m. May 4. After being booked and cited, the man was taken to West Allis Memorial Hospital for evaluation.  

Seems like a pretty hairy situation. 

A 59-year-old Mequon man was arrested for possession of 5.6 grams of marijuana found in a backpack at the Clark Station, 10355 N. Port Washington Road, at 10:35 a.m. April 24. The man had ridden his bicycle to the station and left the backpack on a newspaper box. Police were called and found the marijuana along with the man's cellphone. He was identified and told to get his property at the station. When he arrived later that afternoon, he immediately identified the backpack as his and after looking inside said, "Yes, everything's here."  

"I'm gonna get my weed back too, right? Right? Aw, shit."

Irrigation supplies and a well pump were stolen at Nature's Nook, 9801 S. 27th St., between Feb. 28 and 8 a.m. April 30.

Who steals irrigation supplies?? And how does that even get started? "Hey, man. You know what I could really use? Some irrigation supplies." "Dude, I was JUST thinking about how much I need a well pump!" "Wanna go steal 'em?" "Sure!"

A woman called police to complain about a man that was littering after she saw him placing large plastic bags full of garbage in the trees and on the ground in the 9000 block of South Aspen Drive at 7:15 p.m. April 28. Officers responded to the area and found six bags of garbage on South Aspen Drive and 30 bags of garbage below the Oak Leaf Park sign on Centennial Drive. The park was very clean with the exception of the basketball courts, and police later learned the man was part of a group was out cleaning up the community for Earth Day.

Damn those good Samaritans!  Wait...

A resident in the 5000 block of South Brookdale Drive reported a wolf or coyote in her yard at 7:40 p.m. May 5. Officers were unable to locate the animal. 

A resident in the 9600 block of South Shepard Avenue reported seeing a coyote walking on the bike path between Howell and Shepard across from East Middle School at 8:25 a.m. April 24. The caller was concerned for children who use the path to get to school and wanted officers to check the area. An officer checked the area but did not locate any coyotes.

You'd think that the cops would have something better to do than check up on a litterer or chase invisible/imaginary coyotes, but from experience I can tell you that some of the cops in the 'burbs get pretty bored and will jump on the chance to do anything police-like. 

So stay safe and stay smart, friends, lest you end up in my weekly Crime Time... 

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Streak Ends

Hubby and I have gone to a decent number of sporting events over the past 7 years. We've seen three Packers games at Lambeau. We've seen 2 or 3 Admirals games and LOTS of Brewers games here in Milwaukee. In Madison, we've been to a UW men's basketball game and a hockey game, as well as a Mallards game or two. We've been to UW-Whitewater (Hubby's alma mater) football games, too! And every game we've been to, the home team won...

Until last night.

The Brewers gave a valiant effort to rally at last night's game against the Cardinals, but they fell short in the end. 

We thought our streak was going to end with an Admirals game a few months ago. Ads were down by two goals with less than 2 minutes on the clock. But then they managed to tie it up and win in OT. That gave me hope last night when the Crew got within a run of the Cards. Maybe they could win this thing! But, alas, it was not to be.

I think it's good that our streak has ended, as a few good things have come of it:

1) I can talk about it now. Yes, I'm one of those silly superstitious sports fans, and talking about the stream out loud was forbidden. Now I can tell you all how amazing it was to be at all those victories! We watched the Crew's only win during the post-season in 2008, and we watched them clinch the division in 2011! We've seen crazy comebacks and absolute waffle-stompings, both equally exciting in their own ways. It's been a great run!

2) I know that a loss isn't the end of the world. I mean, I've seen PLENTY on TV, but this was the first (in a long time, anyway) that I'd seen in person. And you know what? We still had fun! We cheered on our team and played along with the games in between innings, just like we would during a win. The only thing that was really different was the lack of energy from the crowd, and even that picked back up when we got close! 

3) No more pressure. It sounds silly, but I felt this sort of pressure when I went to games, like it depended on us being there. (It's not just me; check out this article... We love to think we have a hand in the outcome of a game!) Now I can go and whatever happens just happens. 

So it was definitely a bummer to lose last night. But as we walked out, they reminded us not to worry, "Cause every little thing gonna be alright..." There's still a lot of baseball left this season... Let's go, Crew!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Crime Time

For the past few months, I've been checking the local police reports to see what kind of shit goes down in the Milwaukee area. Most of it's pretty standard: theft (apparently women in their later 20s to early 40s really like to shoplift), drunk driving, vandalism, etc. But some of them are too good, bad, or weird to keep to myself.

So allow me to present the first ever Crime Time post. I check these weekly, so expect more goodies to come.

The following are from official police reports in the greater Milwaukee area.

A caller reported a suspicious male was "lingering" around the park in the 10700 block of West Cold Spring Road at about 8:25 p.m. April 25. The caller told police the man, described as a white male about 40 to 50 years old with dark hair, went in the Porta Potty near the back end of the park and when he exited the he had changed from his work clothes into a white dress. The caller further stated that when the man noticed he was being watched by the caller and her family, he "high-tailed it out of there" and was last seen driving eastbound on West Cold Spring Road. Police checked the area but were unable to locate a man wearing a white dress.

You'd think a man in a white dress would stand out. Also, he might've been "lingering" but was he really all that threatening? Maybe he can't be himself at home (sad) and needed a place to change. Or maybe he's a superhero! I mean, phone booths aren't all that prevalent anymore...

A 17-year-old Mequon youth and 16-year-old youth, residence not listed, were cited for disorderly conduct after a caller said there were kids fighting in a parking lot in the 100 block of North Orchard Street at 3:20 p.m. April 14. It appeared other youths were filming the fight, and when officers arrived, the group left the area. Police later identified the fight participants from a YouTube video that was posted online.  

Seriously? Kids, here's a tip. If you're going to be stupid (like, illegal or getting the police involved kind of stupid), maybe wait awhile to Youtube it. I know all your friends want to see, but that's what email is for. Unless you want to get your friends in trouble, in which case, carry on (but watch your backs).

Police were dispatched on a call of a suspicious person at 2:46 p.m. April 16. A caller said two people were panhandling between Arby's and US Bank on Silvernail Road and had a sign that read "Hungry, Hungry, Hippies."

Suspicious? More like awesome.

Two 13-year-old Milwaukee boys were arrested after they got into a fistfight at Whitman Middle School, 11100 W. Center St., at 9:58 a.m. April 25. The two were fighting about a kickball game earlier that day.  

Kickball is serious business. I assume that this started because someone wanted a pitcher, not a belly-itcher.

An Amish buggy, value not listed, was reported taken from a yard in the 8700 block of North 64th Street at 5:45 p.m. April 20. No other information was available.

Stealing from the Amish? I'm pretty sure that's a paddlin'.

A woman, age and residence not released, was arrested for drunken driving, no proof of insurance and lane deviation after she crossed the centerline in the 5000 block of North Lake Drive and stopped on East Circle Drive at 1:10 a.m. April 24. When asked for her driver's license, she handed the officer the window sticker showing the price of the car. When asked again, she searched the glove box and handed over a copy of the same information saying "I think that is what you need." She at first said she had one glass of wine about 7 hours earlier. When told she still smelled of alcohol, she admitted having three wines after dinner and a beer. Her BAC was 0.18.

"The price is wrong, bitch!"

A 43-year-old man reported his neighbor, a 52-year-old man, called him a derogatory name and "flipped him the bird" in the 9100 block of West Elm Court about 10:30 a.m. April 27. The neighbor admitted to "flipping him the bird" after the 43-year-old began "staring him down." Police advised both men to avoid contact with each other.

Isn't "flipping the bird" the most natural response when someone is "staring you down"?

A resident reported finding what appeared to be an "established drug site" near Highland and Fieldwood roads at 4:40 p.m. April 21. Police found what appeared to be a former campsite surrounded by bicycle tracks. Also found was a homemade bong.

Bicycles, people. They had BICYCLES!! THE HORROR!!!

So that's it for this week, kids. If you're having a bad week, just remember that you aren't one of these people. (Unless you are one of these people, in which case, sorry about that. But c'mon. It's kind of funny, right? Right??)

Friday, April 19, 2013

A (Not-So) Quick Update

The end of the semester is just around the corner, so I'm working my big ol' butt off to make sure it ends well! I finished my rock and roll class (with a 96% even!), so now it's just on to Psych. I took the day off from work to get started on my final paper (sleeping in until 11 probably wasn't the best idea, but it felt oh-so good). Currently I have a title page, an abstract, an intro and part of methods. It's definitely a good start, but there's still a lot of work ahead of me. Thankfully, Hubby is gone all weekend, so I'll have plenty of time to work on it with minimal distractions.

Now, to address everything that's been going on. 

First off, fuck. Seriously, just... fuck.

OK, that having been said, this week has been beyond insane. I was working Monday, checking out Twitter for random updates when I saw something about a blast at the Boston Marathon. (It was just before 2 PM here, so the bombs had JUST gone off.) I sent a message to Hubby, who didn't see anything on CNN yet. He checked FOX news and found something about it. To say it snowballed after that would be like calling a hurricane a little rain. It avalanched. (Yep. Making it a word. Deal with it.) Within a few minutes, the internet exploded. Twitter and Facebook were flooded with updates and links. Pictures, videos, and commentary were on every site available. It wasn't long before #BostonMarathon and #PrayforBoston were trending, and the number of those affected climbed with each update. It was terrifying.

I don't think I got any work done after that. The rest of my day was spent scouring the internet for updates (mostly on this site), trying to learn the extent of the situation. I was desperately hoping that it was just a pipeline that burst or some terrible accident. When it was confirmed as a bomb, my heart sunk and my stomach knotted up. After I logged off of work, I made myself go lie down. I felt physically ill, and I knew that if I stayed anywhere near the computer, I'd keep torturing myself, hunting for pictures and videos to satisfy my morbid curiosity. That night, Hubby and I just spent time together. We watched TV, had dinner, and tried to be thankful that we had each other and we were safe. There's a certain sense of guilt that comes with that, knowing that others are suffering, but it's something good to think about and be grateful for nonetheless.

The rest of the week was simultaneously painfully slow and exceedingly fast. The explosion near Waco (and this insanely lucky/unlucky guy who escaped BOTH incidents). A potential gunman at Carroll University (which turned out to be an airsoft gun, thankfully). The ricin letters. Some crazy shit with an envelope and some (probably) psychosomatic symptoms in Beloit. And let us not forget CNN's fabulous reporting about the nonexistent suspect in custody. It was all unbelievable.

And then last night happened. I can't recall the timeline exactly, but I know that Hubby told me about a shooting at MIT. We both started following Twitter updates and checking news sites for info. We started listening in on the Boston PD scanner for awhile, and between that and Twitter, it almost felt like we were witnessing it ourselves. There were pictures, first-hand accounts, videos... Technology has made it possible for us to be on top of news before any new stations even pick up the story. CNN, of course, was extra slow in posting about the Watertown/MIT goings-on (which was probably for the best; wouldn't want to jump the gun and report something prematurely...), but Anonymous and the scanner kept us as up-to-date as if we were there. 

It was intense. And scary. And I had some pretty awful dreams last night. But I marvel at the things technology has made possible, and am thankful for the good it brings. It showed me the kindness and resilience of people in the wake of such a tragedy, like the epic words of Stephen Colbert, the heroic actions of those both at the marathon and nearby, and the power and unity of Bruins' fans singing the Star-Spangled Banner

Patton Oswalt said it best:

...the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evildoers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago. 

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, "The good outnumber you, and we always will."


Monday, April 1, 2013

I'm So Vain, I Probably Think This Blog Is About Me

I'm 28 and I'm going gray.

For the past few years, I'd occasionally notice a white hair (which, when you have dark brown hair, sticks out like a heathen on Good Friday - why yes, I'll take the biggest, juiciest steak you have! Fish? God, no. I don't want fish...). I'd pull it and be done with it. No harm, no foul. But lately, there are more. And more. And more! I can't keep up.

And truth be told, the problem isn't truly vanity. No, the problem is my OCD. When I catch a glimpse of a white hair, I have to hunt it down. It becomes my sole mission to find that hair and yank it out. But I can't stop there. White hairs are like deer and cop cars; where there's one, there are more. So then I go searching for others to pull. If I didn't have something else to do, or didn't consciously tell myself to walk away, I'd stand in front of the bathroom mirror until every damn one of them was gone. If I wasn't on my pills, I wouldn't be able to control myself at all.

Hubby hates that I do it (probably because I chastise him for similar things), and I know it's unhealthy, but they keep coming. The only option I can really see to prevent it from happening is to start dying my hair. When I was a teen, you couldn't stop me from dying my hair. Black, red, pink, orange, blonde... my poor hair must have had an identity crisis. These days... I really, really don't want to. I actually like the color of my hair (minus the little white bastards), and I hate the idea of being resigned to dying my hair for the rest of my life. (As I told Hubby, "I'm too young to dye!")

I am trying to work on letting it go. Just because I can see it there, doesn't mean it has to come out, right? Deep breaths. Re-focus on something healthy. Move along. Easier said than done. Keep trying.

If anyone out there has any techniques or ideas to offer, I'm all ears. Otherwise, I'll just keep fighting the good fight. For now.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What Goes Around... Always Finds Me

Apparently, this is the time of year that my body just decides, "Hey! You know what you need? A cold! I'll get on that for you!"

This year's late winter cold was a gift from Hubby (as my mom said, he such a good sharer!). I tried to take care of him and myself while he was sick, but with school and work both being a bit nuts, I failed to protect myself from getting this bug. 

On Thursday morning I had a sore throat and was starting to cough. That night Hubby made me grilled cheese and tomato soup, something my dad always did for me as a kid when I didn't feel well. By Friday I had a mild fever, my nose wouldn't stop running, and my throat still hurt. Hubby got me some more Nyquil and some orange juice, all the good stuff that would (hopefully) make me feel better. I took Thursday and Friday evenings off from homework, thinking that pushing myself would only make it worse. I guess I'll never know for sure, but it didn't seem to work that way at all.

Saturday was definitely the worst. By mid-afternoon I had already gone through almost 2 boxes of tissues and was so hot that I wanted to turn on the a/c (but settled for Hubby bringing me an ice pack to cool my neck/back). No matter how I felt, I still had to get homework done and study for an exam on Sunday, so I did my best to push forward. It was stressful to say the least, and that night I got to a max temp of 101.3 (not terrible, thank goodness, but enough). I tried to sleep, but it took me over an hour to finally crash (even with Nyquil). Even then, I was waking myself up with coughing fits every few hours, and during one of the fits, I ended up changing my pajamas because I had sweat through them. Lovely.

I felt better when I woke up Sunday, but I still felt pretty crappy. Somehow I managed to get a 97% on my exam, even feeling like shit, and that kicked off my spring break week. It was a lazy afternoon (complete with 3-hour nap), which was beautiful. I've been slowly feeling better since then (even though my voice hasn't gotten the memo), but have still been waking up with coughing fits. When I was little, waking up coughing meant that Mom would take me into the living room, give me a hard candy to suck on and put me in her lap while she sang to me. These days it means trying not to wake Hubby up (which, really, I shouldn't be too concerned about; he sleeps through anything), and trying to get the coughing spell over with as quickly as possible to maximize sleep time before the alarm goes off and work becomes a reality. When a fit woke me up at about 6 this morning, I almost didn't bother getting out of bed. I hoped maybe it would resolve itself, but it didn't. And now I'm paying for it, groggily sliding through the day, hoping that I can make enough sense out of things to get by until I can sleep again.

Here's hoping that you and yours are all feeling better than we have the past two weeks... Well, except Maxine. She's doing just fine. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It's Alive!

Yep, I'm still alive and kickin'. Why has it been so long? Suffice it to say that I'm a bit busy these days.

This semester I'm taking a 4-credit research methods course for Psych, which is really interesting and I'm learning a lot, but it is time-consuming to boot. Thank goodness that it's what I want to do with my life and that I really do want to learn the material, or else it would be reaaaaaaaaally boring.

In addition to that, I'm taking a history of rock and roll class, which I thought would be a less intensive class to pair with psych. I was wrong. <rant> This class is tedious and annoying. The grading is not only entirely subjective (on papers, anyway), but we are graded against one another. Seriously. Here's an excerpt from an email our instructor sent:

"[Your papers] are read and graded subjectively based on the stated expectations listed in the Syllabus. INART instructors are not obligated to furnish graded papers, which would be nearly impossible given the time constraints. 

Additionally, your writing is graded on its own quality along with how it stacks up compared to others in this section. You may write a perfectly acceptable paper on Chuck Berry. Many other students might write one on that same subject. The better versions will get the higher grades. There are not a lot of A+ papers. They have to be REALLY GOOD and I know them when I read them. The median grade is usually B-/B+ for acceptable, but not especially memorable papers. Those papers make their case but may not offer especially interesting or thought provoking support. I usually hear from students that tell me they put effort into the writing, answered the question, and followed my instructions. That may be true, but it does not necessarily guarantee the highest grades. Someone may have said the same thing better."

So, I don't get any feedback on my paper (I can ask for a "quick recap" of why he graded the way he did), and I'm graded against everyone else. So if there happens to be another paper that chose a similar argument to make (these are primarily position papers) and our instructor likes that paper better, I get a lower score, even though I followed all instructions and met all criteria. Grand.

Oh, and how could I possibly forget that some of the quiz questions are subjective, too? I got a True/False question wrong on my first quiz. The question read something along the lines of "Rock and roll is clearly the combination of blah, blah..." I marked it True, because our book said that several music historians and experts believed that it was a combo of whatever. It was supposed to be False, apparently, because it wasn't "clear" enough. Really? Pretty sure that's subjective, and if a bunch of experts in the field believe it to be true, that's "clear" enough for me. But hey, that's cool. Feel free to completely brush me off when I write an email about this and asking whether or not future questions would also be subjective.

OK, OK. I know I'm being a whiny bitch. But I was really looking forward to this class. Don't get me wrong... I do enjoy the music we get to listen to and I love learning the history behind certain songs or musicians, but I don't feel like the quizzes (2/3 of my final grade, BTW) really measure what I've learned, or that the papers (the other 1/3 of my grade) are graded to reflect my understanding of the topic and material. This isn't a writing class; the syllabus specifically says that. And yet... Ugh. </rant>

Anywhoozles, any "free" time I have that doesn't involve work or school has pretty much been taken up with Uncharted 3 (a game on the PS3), reading (I'm on the third book of the Game of Thrones series aka "A Song of Ice and Fire" series) or sleeping. I've gotten out to do a few fun things. Like last weekend we went to the Pet Expo and I got to meet Wallace the Pitbull. And later this week we're going to a hockey game. And before the semester started, Hubby, Maxine and I went up to Door County for a long weekend (you can see/vote for some of my pictures from that trip at Capture Door County).

Spring break is in 3 weeks, and while we're not doing anything so exciting as last year's Disney trip, it will be so nice to have a whole week without homework. Hubby and I are even taking a day off of work together. Partly because we're getting a new fridge delivered (YAY!), but mostly because my weekends are pretty full of homework, so we need a day together to just relax. Can. Not. Wait.

Well, I suppose I should get back to my busy life.