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Friday, February 28, 2003
Okay, Sean, I love you dearly, but you have GOT to do something about your official home page. The photo? And um… all of the content in general? Needs help, man. I say this with love, I really do. I mean really, have you even SEEN this page, Sean dear? Its so bad. I would totally redesign your page out of the goodness of my heart, but if you felt like repaying me by hooking me up with certain former costars of yours, I’d be fine with that, too. Preferably that British fellow. No, not Ian McKellen. Seriously though, please get help. If your page were a movie, they would be talking over it on MST3K. Really, look at Billy’s site. Its nice! Maybe you can get his guys to work on yours? His diary is cute! And the pictures are lovely! Just a suggestion. Thanks.

Something happened at work yesterday that rather pissed me off. I was organizing the paperwork going to one of the doctors offices so that everything would fit in the one big crate, when I heard the woman in the office behind me on the phone asking “Has anyone ever thought to have the couriers sign a confidentiality agreement?” With me standing right there! It made me feel like the very sight of a character as shady looking as I, with my pink fleece shirt and braided pigtails, had evoked a fear of secrets being leaked that had shaken her to the very core. I took one box of stuff out to my car, and when I came back for another, I heard her saying “Well, those are in the coolers, so you can’t really see them, but do you think we need to put them in a sealed envelope?” I can only assume it was the same conversation. I wanted to stick my head in her office and inform her that not only had I already signed an agreement, but first of all, we are far too busy to spend time doing things like reading the paperwork we are delivering, or squinting to read names on vials of blood. The stuff we transport is generally of no interest of all to us, its just a box of stuff that is taking up room in our car while we are driving around singing Big Yellow Taxi. Not interested, I promise. Secondly, do you REALLY think that if we did read it, we would be running around town saying “Jane Doe had blood sent to the hospital today! Ooooh!” or “Jim-Bo Baggins got tested for thyroid problems and it came back negative! Ahhhh!” Please, dear Lab Lady, have some faith? The only time we talk about anything lab-related is when we make fun of you guys for not being able to get paperwork put in the right box, and for stupid-stupid-stupidly taping those big labels over the handles of our crates. Did I tell you that? We carry things around in big plastic crates, kind of like a longer, lighter version of a milk crate. They have one handle on each end, and when full of stuff, are often very heavy. So what does the lab do? They tape these big plastic signs over one of the handles to label the crates with their corresponding office’s name. How the hell am I supposed to carry a 20-pound crate of stuff with only one handle, while trying to open doors and such, too? For the love of Pete!

Oh, but, anyway, back to my original point, if she thought that the courier sort of people were so very untrustable, couldn’t she have at least had the politeness to wait till I was out of hearing range to start discussing it? Lab people!

I know I am whining a lot, but please allow me a bit more? I am really quite upset with my web hosting company. I emailed them to let them know that I had not received the emails with setup information that I was supposed to have received a few hours after paying for the account (it being several days later). The guy emailed back and said he had sent them, and would try again. I waited. Nada. I emailed to let them know I still had nothing, and got an email back saying he had tried at least five times. So, instead of trying to work it out, or possibly asking for an alternate email to try? He CANCELED my account and refunded my credit card! Not exactly an overachiever, are we?

Tallulah woke me up around 1:30 last night, after I had crashed at 10 or so. Sadly, I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I decided to search for new web hosting. I settled on Total Choice Hosting, and my account is now all set up! I hit one snag along the way- where I registered my domain name, wouldn’t allow me to transfer it over for 60 days, so I registered a new one with the hosting company, so life is good again! Now if I can just, you know, not be stupid, I’ll have everything ready to move over there quite soon!

posted by Crystal 5:11 PM

Monday, February 24, 2003

I think I may have just discovered my new best friend.
posted by Crystal 11:05 PM

Saturday, February 22, 2003

This entry is kind of disjointed, because I typed it over the course of about four days, so pardon the lack of flow!

I got the very best package I’ve received so far yesterday! A lovely girl from Postcard X sent me some ocean stickers, a Harry Potter card, some HP stickers, TWO Ben Harper postcards, and a LOTR bookmark. I was so very excited and happy! Seeing how happy it made me inspired me to get my bootie in gear, so I got about 10 things ready to send out, which I shall be doing right after I eat lunch.

I decided last night to start keeping track of where I send things, and where I receive them from. Its my goal to both send and receive from every state in the US, and at least 10 countries. Wednesday alone I shipped out to England, Australia, and Malaysia, so I’m off to a good start! I’m also setting up a separate blog to keep track of what I send and receive, so I’ll post that link once I have it up and running.

I just picked Tallulah up, and she had a sweet scent to her, almost like how hair smells after you wash it with fruity shampoo.

Mom is taking the cat to the vet tomorrow whether she likes it or not.

I was just laying in bed, eating soup and reading The Nanny Diaries, and generally winding down, when I heard what sounded like a plunger in a toilet. Wondering how dad could have possibly broken the toilet, I went to investigate, and narrowly avoided stepping in a huge pile of cat vomit. There was Laura, my beloved kitty, standing by the door. I put her out, and looked in my bathroom, hoping not to see what I knew would be there. Yup- big ol’ splat-o-diarhea. Seeing that I didn’t let Laura in, I assumed that dad must have, thus making it his duty to clean up the mess (Isn’t it sad that we have a system to this?) I told him that if he would just clean up the bathroom, I’d tackle the hallway, which was by far letting him off easy. Not exactly sure of how to get vomit out of carpet, I went off in search of cleaning supplies. I asked him what he thought we should do about it. He said something along the lines of “Go find something to cover it up with.” COVER IT UP? There is a huge pile of kitty throw-up in my hallway, and he wants to just toss something on it to cover it up. I really think I deserve some sort of award for not kicking him. He gave me a blank look. I told him to get some paper towels. He announced that the big wrestling match was coming on, and he wasn’t doing anything until he watched that. I decided right then and there that if I did throw up, which I was getting very close to due to the smell, it was going to be on him.

It took me about three seconds to clean up the mess in the bathroom, and considerable willpower not to deposit the dirty paper towels in his bedroom instead of the trash. Grrrr.

Anyway, this is just ridiculous. As sucky as it is for us to have to clean up messes, it has to be a million times more miserable for Laura to be sick. I’ve been bugging mom to take her to the vet on a regular basis, and she keeps saying she will, but never does. I swear, they are going tomorrow, if I have to shove her in the car and drive her there.

Did I mention that the accidents always happen a) by the back door, which is right next to my bedroom door, or b) in my bathroom floor near the litter box? Yeah, my half of the house smells great these days.

I am so worried about Laura, I’ve been doing everything I can to get her to take her medicine, which is certainly a lesson in patience. She’s been with us for such a long time that I hate to think of losing her, but I’m starting to wonder if there’s really much else the vet can do. She’s down to something like two pounds, if she even weighs that. I know the real reason that mom is afraid to take her to the vet is that she thinks that she will hear bad news. I can’t blame her, it’s terrifying, but its just unfair to Laura to not try anything we can.

We had a lovely ride this morning! We only had time for about two hours since I had to work, but it was fantastic none the less. Since Susie was riding her peruvian stud, and I was on a quarter horse, I had to trot when he walked to keep up. My poor legs are a bit sore, since I haven’t ridden in a month or so! Can you imagine two full hours of trotting and cantering? Oh, who am I fooling, it was heaven ;) I can't wait for spring when I'll be able to ride without a coat, and the sunlight will spill through the canopy of leaves overhead and create a stained-glass pattern on the forest floor like it always does. Is it Spring yet? Blessed spring that doesn't give me a mostly-white paint horse covered in mud! (I mentioned to Susie as we fished for brushes in the tack room that its certainly odd that when its muddy outside, she always gives me the horse with the most white or grey hair. Very sneaky, that! ;) But I love to groom, so it’s all good)

Susie has the most incredible places to ride since she lives right on the state forest. You can ride for at least six hours without having to turn and head back. The main trail crosses the creek several times, and there are hundreds of little side-trails, most of which we've made ourselves, that are only about the width of one rider, and almost always lead to lots of cuts and scrapes. What's a trail ride without a little blood? ;) One of my favourites leads up to where the old Bee Creek School was, where my mother went to school. Now there are only ruins- telltale foundations that are still set deep into the ground, and a few piles of stone. Perhaps twenty yards away is a small graveyard, with most of the stones too old and weathered to even read. Fascinating.

I got to ride a great little Quarter Horse gelding named Bailey that I hadn't ridden in at least a year. I adore him! His only fault is that he has a tendency to randomly spook for no reason, but hey, it's kind of fun as long as don’t end up in the mud! ;) He only did it twice today, which from what I hear is an improvement, so we'll call that a success ;) I had been really looking forward to riding Valley again, but Bailey was fun, so I got over it. Speaking of which, if you are feeling generous and would like to buy Valley for me, just click here.

Tonight I FINALLY registered a domain name for myself, and signed up for web hosting! I am quite excited, and already have a new look for the journal designed. There was a huge drama though, because within the past month or so, some horrible person has stolen AND! How DARE they!? Who the hell else would want to have that other than me? Crazyness. I’ll be moving my journal and everything over there once my account is set up, as well as generally revamping the rest of the site. Hooray!

I was driving through town today, and couldn’t help but notice that almost every other building had a “Taking Applications” or “Help Wanted” cry on their billboard. I could honestly get a job at almost any business in town this time of year. Its kind of odd for me to not be faced with that usual end-of-February dilemma of deciding whether or not to return to where I worked the year before. I still don’t know what I’ll be doing next year- probably not this- but I think I’m going to stay where I’m at for now. Its always nice to be reminded that I have options, though.

I stopped at the Library in my spare five minutes yesterday, and picked up a few books on tape, as well as The Nanny Diaries, which I finished today. It was quite different from what I had expected, and actually much better. My books on tape included one of poems read by TS Eliot, but his voice drove me nuts and I couldn’t listen to it.

I am so, so very glad that this week is over! I can’t believe how stressful it has been! On Monday, MaryAnn came down to get her hair done, as you may remember, and I posted about how excited I was to have the whole day off. Well, around 4:15, MaryAnn and I were wandering around Wal-Mart when my cell phone rang. It was work, saying that Dr Kryger’s office had just called because they were ready for me to come by, and were wondering why I hadn’t called them yet. Now if you don’t recall, or were too lazy to read my last post, I called both Dr K and Dr Campbell earlier that day, and got their machines, therefore assuming that they were closed for the holiday. Well this is when it hit me: I had called around noon, and they close for lunch from noon to one. I told MaryAnn that we were going on an impromtu trip, and drug her out of Wal-Mart. On the way to the car, I called Dr Campbell’s office and yup! He was open too! We swung by the hospital, and it was about 4:30 by this time. I had told both that I would be there by 5! A few minutes later, I ran into the elevator at the medical complex where Campbell’s office was, and noticed that the man in the elevator with me was carring a lunchbox with biohazard stickers. I stared at him in awe, and he returned my gaze: we had found our own kind. Couriers have a tendency to be somewhat mystified when we see others like us, mostly I suppose because we are never in one spot long enough to see each other. Courier Guy said that he was running really late, and was supposed to already be in Springfield by now. I laughed and told him that I was supposed to already be in Forsythe. It was nice to know that I wasn’t the only stressed one that day! Although I have to admit that when my sister asked what I had in the box, and I said “Just blood today, I think”, and she freaked out, it made it all worth it.

Tuesday, I set off with the idea that hey! At least it had to be better than Monday, right? I left a bit late for the bank, knowing that since they had been closed on Monday, it would take them longer than usual to have their stuff ready. I drove the 30-something miles to Kimberling City singing along to David Grey songs, but the exact second I pulled into their parking lot, it hit me: I didn’t have the bank bag. Every day, when I drop the Kim City bank’s bag off in Nixa, they give me one that I return to Kim City the next day. Usually, the bag just stays in my car, but since George had done my bank run on Friday while I was in Kansas City, he had brought it by the house over the weekend. I had stuck it on the Kitchen table where I wouldn’t forget it, but mom had moved it to make room for MaryAnn. I had, of course, completely forgotten that it wasn’t in my car. Utterly humiliated at my stupidity, I went into the bank to say “Um, Hi. I’m here, but I seem to have forgotten your bag. I’ll be back in an hour.” I tried calling home to see if mom could meet me half way, but she wasn’t there, so I got to drive a half hour home, grab the bag, and turn around and drive back. Yuck! Then I had to explain to the lady at the Nixa bank why I was 45 minutes late. Good thing I could laugh about it!

Well, all of this naturally put me late for my doctor’s runs, too! Arriving at Dr Kryger’s office a half hour late for the second day in a row, I collapsed onto the chairs in the waiting room and relayed my pitiful story yet again.

Wednesday, things were going pretty well according to schedule until I got to Dr. Campbell’s office, and ended up having to wait half an hour. The result? Half an hour late to Dr Kryger AGAIN! It’s a good thing they love me over there.

Thankfully, I was actually on time everywhere on Thursday, but I did show up in jeans and a sweatshirt covered in mud and horsehair, and wearing absolutely no makeup. I was pretty. I knew I was smelling pretty bad when I stopped home for a ten minute nap between the bank and the doctors, and Tallulah Jane crawled into bed with me to cuddle, but sniffed my hand, and then ran away.

Did I mention it was a long week?

American Express will soon own the shirt off my back, I am afraid. They raised my credit limit a thousand dollars. At first, I was determined not to touch it. However, I needed to register for Simucon before the price went up, so I charged that. Then, I decided that I would allow a little shopping for some basic things like stamps that I have been putting off getting due to lack of funds. Then I decided I should finally get my November vacation pictures developed from my memory card. Then I decided to use it to pay for web hosting. Then I got the estimate from the Nikon people for my camera, and will be charging that as well. Grand total? Nearly $500. Damn! On the bright side, however, I now have an alarm clock that actually functions! My old minute button was stuck at 38, so you had to get up at 9:38, 10:38, etc. This new minute option fascinates me to no end.

I found a sticker at the Scrapbook Store with a quote I adore: “To know life is to love many things”-Van Gogh. I painted it on my bathroom wall tonight. It is lovely.

The holiday system is out to make me fat. I was just getting over the Christmas weight when Valentines day reared its ugly head, full of red frosting brownies and candy in heart-shaped boxes. That was nearly forgotten when the Easter candy hit the shelves, which I can sum up in two words: Cadbury Eggs. Then tonight the lady at Dominos told me that she had accidentally made an extra medium pizza when she made ours, and did I want it for just four dollars? (hell yeah!) Thankfully, I don’t think St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, or the Fourth of July are out to get me, so maybe I’ll be able to find my waist again, soon.

While we’re on the topic of body woes, I must tell you the story of my bra shopping. While I was stocking up on randon necessities at wal-mart with my newfound credit limit, I stopped by the fitting room to say hi to mom, and was lured into lingerie by a huge sale. Oh so many bras under $10! I decided that I’d take the opportunity to figure out just what size I was now, since the ones I had tried on at Victoria’s Secret a week or so ago had just plain not fit right. I grabbed my usual size, just to check, and set off to try them on. A few minutes later, I was giving them back to the lady at the desk, proclaiming that “My cup runneth over”, and sarcastically thanking mom for her genes. I went back to pursue the racks, searching for slight variations of my old size- going up in inches or cup or both. For the men who didn’t stop reading six sentences ago, there is a simple fact of bra shopping that you may not know: they stop making the cute bras at 36C. Having been a 38C for a long long time, I occasionally got lucky when one company or another was feeling generous and still had cute bras in that size, but let me tell you, any bigger than that, and you’re lucky if you don’t end up with one of those awful beige lace numbers. Where is the love for the big-chested chick? We like pretty things, too! I ended up with an olive green one that isn’t horrible, but far from being cute at all. It was on sale for $6 though, so who am I to complain?

Freakazoid is on Cartoon Netowork. My word I had forgotten how much I loved this. Thank you, Cable People.
And now, its 4:22 am and the rain is pouring down outside, which is quite certainly an invitation to crawl into bed and dream.

You are New Orleans Square, home of the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the best clam chowder bowl this side of the Mississippi! You love night life, including dancing, live bands, and of course parties! Music is a big part of your life.
Which Disneyland land are you?

posted by Crystal 4:25 AM

Monday, February 17, 2003

I am updating simply to add that Casnio Guy's name was Sarwar. I am absolutly thrilled with how much that sounds like Star Wars. My friend is dating Star Wars. Rock on.

Oh, and I don't have to work today because its a holiday. I just found this out. Yah, holidays!

This day has a very weird air to it. My sister, who is in the kitchen getting her hair done, is being surprisingly nice. I am in the zany sort of mood that caused me to write the following song while cleaning out Lula's litter box:

I dont think that anyone pities
My cleaning up after the kitties
I hate doing this,
Scooping kitty piss
Cleaning out the kitty litter box

Oh my how this sucks
Why dont we have ducks?
Cleaning out the kitty litter box
posted by Crystal 2:33 PM

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Ah, Valentine’s day. A day of love, and romance, and all that stuff. In my case, however, it had been agreed upon that this V-Day was going to be a chick road trip to Kansas City for some serious casino action. Seeing that my sister, MaryAnn’s birthday is on Feb 13th, it became her birthday party on wheels. I was even more excited because the trip meant that I got to take Friday off from work, after a stressful week. Hooray!

My plan was to get up at 7am so that I would be ready to leave at 7:30. Well, Tallulah decided that I should get up at 6 instead, so that’s what happened. I spent a bit too much time online, and ended up having to get dressed really quickly so that we could leave on time. The rain was coming down in a thick mist, which was at least better than heavy rain or snow, but far from being optimal driving conditions.

In Springfield, we met up with my sister MaryAnn and her friend Sherry, who I had never met before, at the Super Wal-Mart parking lot, so that we could all pile into my car and leave MaryAnn’s behind. Perhaps I should say squeeze into my car, or sardine ourselves into my car, because it seems that the back seats of Mustangs are not made with the intention of actual human use. They’re fantastic for holding all of the junk I keep back there, but actual people? No. We ended up with me driving, MaryAnn shotgun, and mom and Sherry, who were the two smallest, squeezed into the back seat. Given the fact that I have legs that are something like ten feet long, I searced for some sort of compromise with seat position that gave mom some kind of leg room without killing my legs either.

I ended up driving most of the way to Kansas City while we sang along with the various mix cd’s I had brought and cheering at all of the Adult Stores we passed. We were fascinated by the town with a population of 176 that didn’t even have a grocery store, but did have a XXX porn shop. You have to love rural Missouri.

About 30 miles out of KC, I switched with MaryAnn so that she could drive the rest of the way. This was partially because I was really sick of driving, having been at it for around four hours, and also because I refuse to drive in big cities. We made it to the casino around 12:30 or 1:00. I got very excited over signs outside saying that they had $3 blackjack, and absolutely giddy over the ads for the Penny Slots, which I immediately nicknamed the Penny Sluts. “We get to play cheap sluts!” became our mantra. Once inside, I got to giggle over my sister getting carded at the entrance (our trip was mostly to celebrate her 32nd b-day). The place was absolutely huge, so we made plans to meet up back at the cashier’s cage we were at around 4pm, and set off. I got $10 in quarter tokens and $10 in nickels so that I could hit the slots for a while. The quarters went way too quickly, and there were hardly any nickel slots to be found on the first floor. I was seated next to a guy who was winning 100 almost every couple of minutes. Sure, that’s only like $5, but I was envious. Damn you, nickel slots.

I finally shoved my last roll of nickels in my jacket and ventured upstairs, where there were rumors of blackjack tables with $3 minimums. Well, there they were! However, there were only like 5 tables, so I had to wait over half an hour to get a seat. This, um, would be the part where I lost $60 playing blackjack. Damn on not quitting while I was ahead! I’m used to playing with 2 decks, and they were playing with 8, which made me sad (less decks give you an advantage). I blame it all on MaryAnn not letting us listen to Sinatra sing Luck be a Lady on the drive up. I had a great time, however. I kind of missed the chattiness of my beloved Hoyle Casino computer blackjack players, because everyone at my table was very dull. I had blackjack twice, and had one amusing hand where I had aces that I split, which resulted in another pair of aces, which I also split, finally resulting in pushing two hands and winning one. If only that could have been 3 blackjacks!

There is something in the casino air, I found, that made my brain go dead while I was playing. Suddenly, I could not add the numbers on the cards. I would stare at my seven and eight, on more than one occasion, baffled as to what that could possibly add up to. I hit on 16 when the dealer had a 4 showing. Generally, I did not play my best. But again, it was fun. And come on, we all know I looked so damn cool.

Around 4, my once rather tall stack of pretty little chips was down to almost nothing, so I cashed out and went downstairs in search of the girls. The problem was, I knew we’d said we would meet by the cashier’s cage, but I couldn’t remember which one, and there were at least ten of them downstairs. I wandered around the first floor for around fifteen minutes before I finally found the one I was almost positive we had decided on, and waited on mom there. After a few minutes of waiting, she decided that she could wait just as easily while playing slots, so she found a dollar slot machine and decided to play $10. Well, during that, she won $100! I was trying to convince her to cash out, but she decided to play down to $90 while we waited on the others. At $90, she decided to play down to $50. That dork.

Eventually MaryAnn showed up, and Sherry a few minutes later, with tales of a hot guy she had met. She drug me off to show me Casino Worker Guy with an Unpronouncable Name, who got her number while we were there.

Back at the good ol’ $1 Double Diamond Deluxe slot, we grabbed mom and drug her away kicking and screaming, back to the car for the much loathed drive home. I made MaryAnn drive, because all I wanted was a nap. The drive home was pretty much like the drive up, with a few fewer XXX shops on the way (we took a major highway instead of the country back roads this time. It wasn’t as amusing, but was about an hour quicker).

When we got to Springfield, MaryAnn’s car had a very flat tire. Being the girls that we were, we decided to send Sherry inside to find someone to help change it. She came back with a good looking wal-mart employee guy, who got right to work on changing it while the unmarried half of our group flirted shamelessly with him. Well, ok, Sherry flirted shamelessly, I flirted moderately. At some point in the tire-changing process, a random guy walked up and asked Tire Changing Wal-Mart Guy “Do you want a 4-way?” We all exchanged an amused glance and giggled when we figured out he meant some sort of tire-changing tool. Anyway, Parking Lot 4-Way Guy and Tire Changing Wal-Mart guy did a smashing job of changing the tire, and Wal-Mart Guy told my sister to pull around to the auto department and he would air up her spare for her, since it didn’t have the right pressure. So, MaryAnn and Sherry went off in that direction, while Mom and I set off for home. It wasn’t long before I got a call to tell me that Unpronouncable Casino Guy had called Sherry while Wal-Mart guy was fixing the tire, so while she missed out on getting Wal-Mart guy’s number, she did set up plans to go see Casino guy on Sunday. Sherry is my new idol.

I fell into bed pretty promptly after getting home, and was quite delighted to find Welcome Back Kotter on TV Land. I haven’t seen that show in years! Afterwards, I turned out the lights and fell asleep to the cast commentary of the 2nd half of Fellowship. I was so tired that I started it at the arrival in Lothlorien, and fell asleep right after Sam got his rope, if that tells you much.

Speaking of which, I just came across something at the New Line shop that simply rocks my world:

“Get yourself ready for battle every morning with these Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers coffee mugs that reveal the Elvish One Ring inscription when you pour in a hot beverage.”

I would probably consider getting them, except that a) they are $18 for the two, and b) the Rohan warriors are on one, and the Uruk-hai on the other. I could dig the Rohan one, but I really don’t want uruk-hai staring back at me first thing in the morning. But the whole elvish script that is heat sensitive? Brilliant! Also, its about time someone made a cheap knockoff of the Arwen necklace so that poor people like myself can get in on the love without paying $75.

Fantastic Quote of the day:
My father, on my bottles of frappuccino in the fridge: “Don’t you have to heat it?”

I am so jealous of Evany and her dog show party. Why can’t I have friends like that? If I invited people over for drinks and dog show, they would laugh politely and then run away.

I admit that I’ve had a great weekend. I slept in late, went grocery shopping (I looove grocery shopping), watched Harriet the Spy (I cried), watched The Music Man (I cried), watched the Osbournes renew their vows (I nearly wet my pants laughing at Ozzy singing “No more pubic hair!”). I spent lots of time combing through magazines for collage materials to make some more postcards to send out for Postcard X. Speaking of which, I’ve gotten several more recipes in the mail, as well as a lovely postcard from NYC and one from Berkley this week. And a handmade one decorated with stars. I love you all, Postcard X’ers.

posted by Crystal 10:58 PM

Thursday, February 13, 2003

It is nearly three a.m. I fell asleep at 8 after Dawson’s Creek, and woke up just a few minutes ago. Don’t you hate waking up in the middle of the night, when its far too early to be awake, but you can’t get back to sleep? To top that off, I’m supposed to have a dentist appointment this morning that I’ve already postponed two or three times.

While I was driving today, a new version of Big Yellow Taxi came on the radio, and I was very excited. I forgot how much I used to love that song! It made me wonder just where my poor Friends soundtrack is these days.

I just woke up from a dream that Tallulah had an evil twin. I worry about my subconscious sometimes.

Oh! Anyway, the new Big Yellow Taxi is by Counting Crows and Vanessa Carlton (I guessed John Mayer and Michelle Branch in the car, so, um, I was kinda close?)

Two Towers is still playing at IMAX, and their huge sign reminds me of this fact every day. I’d like to catch it at least once more before it goes away. I mean, how often do you get to see something so fantastic (and I’m actually referring to the movie here, not just Orlando) on such a huge screen with floor-shaking sound? DVD’s are fabulous because you can rewind and watch commentaries and sit around in Hawaiian-print pajamas eating cookies while you watch the movie, but its hard to beat a movie on the big-big screen. Mmm, Two Towers. Funny enough, I liked it better than Fellowship when I first saw it, but I had only seen Fellowship twice at that point. Now that I’ve seen it at least 20 times, its winning out as the favorite. Partially because it feels like it has more flow, rather than going back and forth between the three different stories, but I think mostly because I know it so darn well by now, to the point of where all the little inside jokes from the commentaries make me giggle, and I have certain things I watch for every time that make me giggle.

I heard on the news today that the city of Springfield is discussing renaming the James River Freeway to “The Korean War Veterans Memorial Freeway”. How the hell are you going to fit that on a street sign? What are we supposed to say, “Take the KWVMF over to National…” Pft! I’m all for patriotism and such, but this is just sillyness. We already have half of the tourists in Branson confused because one of our main roads is also called Veteran’s Boulevard, but nobody calls it that who lives here.

I mentioned that I fell asleep after Dawson’s Creek. Remind me to send the writers a big glittery heart valentine for finally shaving that horrible beard thing off of Josh. I was beginning to forget that he was the whole reason I watch this silly show. Very much forgot what a hot face was under there. Thanks, writers.

Today was absolutely beautiful! It was in the high 50’s, possibly 60. I loved driving in that sort of weather, although I must say that it is very odd to have your air conditioner running when there is snow outside. I guess its just taking its sweet time melting.

I’m not sure if I mentioned that my mom, youngest sister, and I are supposed to be going to a casino in Kansas City on Friday. I am very excited to get a day away from boringness! I’m hoping to win about eighty billion dollars playing blackjack. I’d settle for $2.

Thanks to Tech Support Guy that I talked to last week, I am finally able to download music again! Given my silly connection speed, it still takes about 20 minutes for a song, but this is much better than taking a month, like it was. I can finally make a new CD for February! So far, I know it will have:

Big Yellow Taxi- Counting Crows & Vanessa Carlton (Did I mention how excited this made me?)
Big Yellow Taxi- Joni Mitchell
Shut Up- Kelly Osbourne
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous- Good Charlotte

Not sure what else yet. Probably some David Grey and Ben Harper.

Lula tells me that it’s time to sleep, and so I know it is. Adios!

posted by Crystal 4:47 AM

Friday, February 07, 2003

Would you like to see what I saw driving yesterday? Look!!

What? You say you can’t see anything? Well neither could I! It was White-White-White! Whiter than a white sale at the Gap! Snow was coming down in snowflakes the size of poodles, and my windshield wipers kept getting so caked with ice that all they did was make my windshield more wet. I only wish my digital camera were home from the shop- I could have gotten some great shots of the black windshield wipers against nothingness.

I hate snow. I hate driving in snow. Why do I have this job again?

I would now like to take this time to say… I FREAKING KNEW IT!!! When Kimberly Caldwell was first on American Idol, I squinted at the TV and said “Um, didn’t I go to school with her?” But the tv said she was 16, which would make it impossible. Well, I got my issue of US Weekly today, and it says that she is, in fact 20, and spent some time singing in Branson, so it IS her! HAH! I knew I had some reason for liking her. She better come back as the wild card.

In less happy news, US Weekly also informed me that my dear Orlando is now dating Kate Bosworth, that chick from Blue Crush. Grrrrr. It won’t last.

posted by Crystal 10:42 PM

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Today I made three beautiful postcards. I’m going to be sad to part with them, but they weren’t made to keep. I bought about ten dollars worth of stickers at the Scrapbook Store (that’s actually its name!) today. Ten dollars doesn’t buy anywhere near as many stickers as you would think it does. Plus, most of them were actually for my scrapbook, so my plan to come home with tons of stickers to use for my Postcard X creations didn’t exactly work out. I did, however, manage to leave the store with eighty-three cents still in my bank account, so all is not lost.

I had an extra delivery on my usual Wednesday morning run to Springfield today- I had to pick up a package here in Branson and drop it off at the Assembly of God headquarters. Mom came along with me today, because the original plan did not include said shop, and we were going to have about three hours to shop before I had to head south towards the bank. Lets just say that all did not go according to plan.

First of all, the AOG Headquarters is HUGE! Not just really big, not just really really big, but huge! Massive! Mammoth! After pulling up to the first building marked Assembly of God Headquarters, I was getting ready to go in the door when I noticed that the next building over was ALSO marked AOG, and this time it matched the description that my boss had given me much better. I looked back and forth between the buildings and couldn’t help but ask “Just how many assemblies does God HAVE?” So, I climbed back in the car and drove over there. However, there were no parking spots near the door I thought I was supposed to go in, so I had to park approximately eight thousand miles away (somewhere in Ireland, I think.) and walk. Of course, when I got to THAT door, it said Employees Only, and I had to walk approximately half a mile (serious this time!) up to the front entrance, with super cold wind blowing in my face. Once inside, the receptionist guy informed me that I was in the wrong building. I needed to go back on to the main street, through the stop light, and three buildings down. Did I mention that the Headquarters is HUGE? As I exited back into the crisp wind, I went to tuck my pen back behind my ear when I noticed it was leaking all over, and I now had blue hands. Don’t you love how things always seem to happen at once? I walked the half-mile back to my car, thankful to at least have the wind to my back this time. Thankfully, the through-the-light-and-three-buildings-down building turned out to be the right one. The whole escaped took an hour. An Hour! Sometimes I really don’t think they pay me enough to do this.

Much to my joy, I had enough time to go back to Hobby Lobby to buy the bag I didn’t buy the last time I was there but should have (Its an adorable dark denim little handbag with rainbow-striped handles. It’s the sort that’s in the craft section and made for decorating, but I love it as-is, and plan to use it to tote my postcard making stuff around with me so I can work on them at work). The best part is that when I looked at it a week or so ago, it was $2.80, but this time it had been marked down to $1.76! I am overjoyed.

Scene that just transpired in my kitchen:

Me: (inspecting a pastery) Is this donut lemon or apple?
Mom: Humm, I don’t know. Taste it.
Me: I’m afraid. You do it.
Mom: (tries some of the yellow stuff) Humm. Apple-y. But also kind of lemony.
Me: (tastes it and pauses to think) I think its yellow-flavored.
Mom: That’s it!

Do you ever stop to think about flavors? I am always amused that for instance, grape-flavored candy tastes nothing like grapes. And where did we get this sour apple flavor from? Peach is usually pretty close. Strawberry is not at all.

So what does blue taste like to you? Yellow? How does Tuesday smell?

While I was thinking about London tonight, I was reminded of the time when Allison from spent time in London taking classes, so I went over to her website to re-read those days. About two hours later, I’m still caught up in reading the archives, and haven’t even gotten around to the London part. This is reminding me why I used to love her journal so much.

And gheez! I left out an important detail yesterday when I posted my buttcrack-of-dawn work story! Remember how before I left home at the horrible hour of 5:30, I kept telling mom “I am going to die. I am going to fall asleep, and run off the road and die in a fiery crash”. Well, on the way home, I smelled something weird, and oddly enough, my first thought was “I bet there was an accident.” Next thing I know, I’m driving past a truck which has just run off the road and smashed into the high rock walls that rise up on either side of the highway. There is smoke pouring out of the engine, and a moment later I can hear the sirens of approaching cop cars.

Another note from that morning: I realized I have been a Mary Kay consultant for a long time when I looked at the pink sunrise meeting the blue sky and thought “Wow. That looks just like the Cotton Candy eye shadow duet.”

Approximatly 7 minutes later, in the same kitchen:
Me: Oops. Forgot about my enchiladas.
Mom: I thought I heard the oven.
Me: (transferring enchiladas onto plate) Hey, what does blue taste like?
Mom: (at her computer) Did you know the cat is the only animal mentioned in the Bible?
Me: Really? Humm.
Mom: What does blue taste like? Blueberries?
Me: They cant be the ONLY animals not mentioned. Do they mentioned walruses?
Mom: Kind like blueberries, but you know… blue. Its hard to describe.
Me: Do they mention coral? That’s an animal you know.
Mom: I don’t know.
Me: Like blueberries? Humm. Ok. What about 3-toed sloths? Do they mention them?

And here I always thought that I only carried on 2 disjointed conversations at once in IM’s. Apparently not. Anyway, I’ve been asking everyone what blue tastes like, since I just typed that question a few minutes ago. So far:

Jim: A bit like purple, but less red.
Kelly: Sweet and Spongey. Like a twinkee.
Katie M: Raspberry!
Erin: Raspberry, duh! (We should note here that Katie and Erin are both redheads. Does this mean anything? Probably not.)
Kelley: I imagine its kind of tart.

My newest addiction is What Not To Wear on BBC. I want Trinny and Susannah to come live in my closet and help me.

Speaking of clothing, if you have not yet registered for the fabulous NYC shopping spree on my MK Website, go register already! Its $5k of shopping money, airfare, and staying in the Waldorf Astoria, and if you win, I win, and I really need the clothes, man.

So do you ever find yourself sitting back and thinking “I wonder what Crystal and Erin talk about.” Well, here is an exclusive repeat of parts of tonight’s conversation, simply because it was brilliant.

Crystal: will you move to London with me?
Erin: yes
Erin: yes I will
Crystal: hooray!
Crystal: I want to move there.
Crystal: I have never been there, but it seems like my kind of town
Erin: lol
Erin: Its very... different
Crystal: I think we would have a lovely time.
Sparkly Twinkie: smashing dahling :)
Crystal: where shall we live?
Erin: In a flat
Erin: near Kensington Garden
Erin: so we can go riding
Crystal: works for me!
Crystal: I am leaning towards Notting Hill
Crystal: did you know that a certain Mr Bloom has an apartment there?
Erin: Oh DOES he now
Erin: Well Jude and Ewan live around there as well somewhere
Crystal: ooh.
Crystal: I wonder if he ever goes out to get the mail naked.
Crystal: I like to think that he does.
Erin: I do
Erin: oh. I mean. of COURSE he does
Crystal: ::nods::
Crystal: I say we move next year.
Erin: sounds lovely
Crystal: I have a salt shaker and four coffee mugs. What can you bring in to the deal?
Erin: I have dishes
Crystal: fantastic! I bet those will come in handy.
Erin: and....a CD player
Erin: and a pan to cook eggs in
Crystal: I have lots of Disney resort mugs!
Erin: woohoo!
Erin: That will be useful
Crystal: and a tv and dvd player!
Erin: to drink our tea in the morning
Crystal: right!
Crystal: I have more skin care and makeup than we could ever need.
Erin: woohoo!
Crystal: I think we're set.
Erin: Oh but we will need it
Erin: to snag the boys
Crystal: right!
Crystal: we will live a fascinating life.
Crystal: and eventually someone will make a movie about us.
Crystal: Sort of a Bridget Jones Diary meets Notting Hill meets...em... Monty Pythong.
Crystal: ROFL
Crystal: PYTHON
Erin: Monty Pythong... is that a porno?
Crystal: omg, HORRIBLE King Arthur in bad underwear mental images!
Crystal: "Dressing, undressing, knitting exciting underwear..."
Crystal: DUDE, how did we never come up with that before?
Erin: LOL
Erin: I have no idea
Crystal: you know I'm going to have to post half of this conversation.
Sparkly Twinkie: lol thats fine
Crystal: this is high quality.
Crystal: pythong! Pythong!
Erin: When we make it into a film I will make the credits anyway
Crystal: Victoria Pythong and the Quest for the Holy Knickers.
Erin: They could be gold, and glow
Crystal: so, um, flats in Notting Hill are cheap, right?
Erin: yeah, if you want to sell yourself everynight for years
Crystal: oh good, that was the plan.
Erin: yeah I figured you wouldn't have too much of a problem
Erin: we can become high priced whores
Erin: and pay for our rent
Crystal: ok, so its Bridget Jones meets Notting Hill meets Monty PythoN meets Moulin Rouge
Erin: Right!
Crystal: without the death
Erin: *puts on fishnets*
Crystal: or Nicole Kidman
Erin: right
Erin: better that way really
Crystal: absolutly.
Erin: well Crystal I need to get to bed
Erin: I have class bright and early
Erin: and now nightmares about knights in corsets
Crystal: they make you get up bright and early to make sausage these days?
Erin: well... to study Amish people
Erin: this time
Crystal: Frankly, I worry about the quality of education you are getting up there sometimes.

Did anyone watch American Idol tonight? I turned it on for the last minute or two. Is Kimberly actually GONE? That’s just WRONG! She was supposed to win. Something is very screwy with that, yo.

Seeing that Kel posted a freaky dream over at washingwishes, I shall also share mine from the other night. The very simple basis was this: My dad was smoking a lot of pot. I kept trying to take it away from him, and he would hide it, trying to be sneaky. Mom and I now have a running joke about dad being a druggie thanks to this dream.

Today mom told me that she and dad are discussing driving to Arizona for a week in April. Flying? No, dad won’t fly. I argued that if he drives, it will take him a week to get there. Anyway, to get to the point, I am now faced with deciding whether or not to go. On the plus side, it’s a trip to somewhere other than here. I could sit in the back of the car and read and write and other such fabulous things! I could pick up postcards from truck stops and eat gas station food. Those things excite me. On the bad side? My dad is the worst driver in the WORLD, and refuses to let anyone else drive. Also, my parents are not much fun to be with in a confined space for any period of time. And someone would have to come watch our animals. I would have abandonment issues about Tallulah, and I really don’t trust anyone to not kill my fish. Plus, a whole week of having the house to myself would be fantastic. Wonderful. Blissful. But perhaps a bit lonely? What would you do if you were me?

On this same day I get the trip news, I am also informed that my oldest sister wants me to come live in San Francisco with her for four months to babysit her kids for about an hour a day. As much as I would really, really like to live in SF for a while, I think that four months is much too long. Also, I do not think I could live with my sister. We don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on…em…anything. But on the other side- a free apartment! In San Francisco! That would be an experience, to say the least. Maybe? Probably not. There is NO WAY I could leave Lula Jane for four months, and equally no way that I would make her live there. Plus, I would be away from my horse for some of the best riding months of the year. I told mom to tell her that I would come out for two weeks. That seems like a decent compromise to me. Maybe just one? Not sure.

In case this isn’t enough vacation sort of news for you, next Friday (which is also known as Valentines Day), my sister MaryAnn, my mom, and I shall be journeying afar to Kansas City to hit the casinos. Just what two married chicks and a single girl should be doing on V-day, don’t you think? We do.

I am working my way towards getting rid of my Netfix membership. I never watch my dvd’s in a timely manner anymore, so its just not practical. For the price I pay, I will instead buy one dvd a month, and still have enough left over for a rental or two. I think that will be much more satisfying. My first new purchase will be the theatrical release of Fellowship, because its bonus disk has so many splendid things that the extended ones don’t, including some footage of Orlando rehearsing some battle scenes that is hotter than boiling liquid sex.

Today I realized that while living in LA next summer, I can actually take classes from Neena and Veena. My life will be complete.

I’m cleaning out the voice notes in my phone, which are generally quite amusing. I just came across one with a note of something I wanted to mention here. When walking into a gas station one day, a man held the door open for me and said “Go right ahead, beauty queen.” Very weird.

I just went to check on Lula Jane and found her asleep in mom’s bathroom sink. This no longer surprises me.

I feel like I had such a productive day at work. Not because I got anything work-related done that was out of the ordinary, but because I had enough time while I was waiting for lab stuff at the doctors’ offices that I had time to write two postcards and finally finish the Council of Elrond chapter in Fellowship. Now, I love Tolkien deeply, but can I take this time to thank Peter Jackson for making the Council scene much shorter and to the point? Thanks, PJ! (Plus the whole “You have my sword…” “…and my bow!” is a lot sexier than “Legolas and Aragorn are going with you.”)

I discovered today that my father is really not a very good friend to his friends. His friend Van had told us a couple of weeks ago that his wife would be going in to the hospital soon to be tested for cancer, and that he was really, really worried. I felt so bad for him because it was evident how much it was effecting him (they’ve been married over 50 years) and how scared he was. Well, today I asked dad how Van’s wife was, and he said “I don’t know.” I couldn’t believe that he hadn’t called to check. I said as much, and dad said something along the lines of “Well, his phone number is in the book if you want to know.” Can you believe that!? I try to keep up on everything going on in my friends lives, from relationship statuses to checking in on how a test they were worried about went- I cant imagine letting something this big slip. Mom called me later in the afternoon to say that she had decided to call and check, and that Van’s wife did indeed have cancer. I’m really hoping that she will be ok now- Van is such a great guy. He is the sort that goes to nursing homes to visit strangers. He’s going to teach me to play guitar. I hate to see such sadness and pain fall into the lives of such good people.

Also, I finally added humans to the cast list, and updated the fish.

posted by Crystal 1:48 AM

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Today is a breathtakingly beautiful day. Its days like this that I would give anything in the world to be able to have Emmett right at my house so I could just saddle up and ride for a few hours. Its in the high 60’s today, which is such a welcome break from all of the cold we’ve been having. Sadly, by Tuesday, the low is supposed to be 10. At least these little teasers of Spring give us something to hold on to, and a little bit of hope that we will see the sun again.

Between my recent reunion with my beloved Travel Channel, the teasing weather, and time spent reading trip reports on the DIS boards, I am getting very vacation hungry. I’m in that phase where I cry when they have Disney World commercials on tv. Sad, huh? If they don’t stop playing that “Trip to Ireland from $499!” commercial soon, I really may break down and sell a kidney for airfare.

I’m reading a fabulous trip report on the DIS while I write this, going back and forth as I have a tendency to do, and I just discovered something: I have some major Countdown Envy going on. Most people on the DIS have little countdown clocks in their signatures that tell how long until their next trip. I haven’t had my own little clock in months, and I want one, gosh darn it, even if it has an impossibly high number of days on it.

Repeat after me: I will NOT use my tax return to make reservations. I will NOT use my tax return….

But then again, if I don’t put Carole’s (my travel agent) kids through college, who will? ;) Must stay at the Boardwalk this time. And the Lodge. Mmm, chocolate lodge brownies….

You see? This is how it starts every time. It’s a disease that can never be cured.

Saturday was an interesting day, to say the least. I went to bed on Friday Night/Sat Morning around 3:30. At 5:30, work called wanting me to run something to the hospital in Springfield. After saying “I’m going to DIE in a big crash when I fall asleep!” about thirty times, I threw on some jeans and was out the door. As I was driving North towards Springfield, I saw The Sign that I’ve been making fun of all week—its one of those construction signs that said “Temporary Road Closing Saturday between 7 and 8am. Expect 15 minute Delay.” I had been laughing ALL week at the poor suckers who would be out driving at that hour. Guess what? According to my schedule, I would be coming back that way between 7 and 8. That’s what I get!

As if being up at 5:30 wasn’t enough, I got pulled over by a cop right as I got to Springfield! I was freaking out, because I couldn’t find my drivers license- I’d had to get copies made for work the day before, and I couldn’t remember where I put it! Thankfully, the cop was cute (heh..), and he decided that the fact that I was carrying plasma to the hospital warranted letting me go. So, he told me to be sure to have my license handy from now on, to slow down, and recommended a different route for me to take to the hospital from now on that was a bit faster. Hooray for cute cops!

I managed to evade the construction delay, passing through at 7:08 when they hadn’t started yet. I hate what they put up there! You know in big cities how there are those big metal things that go over the highway with the green signs that say names of cities or major roads, with the arrows pointing down into the lanes you need to be in to get there? Well, we now have one that says “Branson” with arrows pointing down into the two lanes of the highway. I hate it! It looks too big-cityish, and its pointless! Grr.

I started typing this on Saturday or Sunday, and its now Tuesday. I’m so on the ball.

I have to tell you about the Gas Station War I’ve been participating in practically every day lately. There is this one gas station in Kimberling City that always has the cheapest gas around. For example, in Branson its $1.49, in Branson West its $1.45, but at this station its $1.39. (Note- Couriers can talk for hours about the price of gas. Put two of us in the same room for more than a minute, and we will be comparing gas prices. Its our life.) So, the problem is, there are only 4 pumps, and one has been out of order for almost a week. Therefore, you have to flat-out FIGHT to get a spot at a pump. I waited for five minutes today! People will sneak around and steal your spot right as you’re going towards it—its evil! I wanted to get out of my car and go KICK a man today, because while 3 cars are waiting for a spot, he takes several minutes to wash his windows! Not just the windshield, but the back and sides too! And he took FOREVER! I can wash a windshield perfectly in under 30 seconds, including cleaning the wiper blades, so I was quite tempted to get out of my car, kick him, and then wash the windows in a more timely manner to get him out of the way.

I think I may be starting to take getting gas a bit too seriously.

I’m now trying to kill time before I leave for my Mary Kay meeting. I was late getting home, because I forgot to drop off a specimen at Dr. Campbell’s, and had to turn around and drive back to his office. Luckily, its only about 5 minutes from the hospital, so it wasn’t too bad.

I have been so excited to get the mail every day lately, because lovely things from other Postcard X people have been pouring in! I have gotten one handmade postcard, one regular postcard with a lovely message, a recipe postcard, and some hand-made recipe cards! (I mentioned on the site that I am putting together a cookbook, in case you were starting to think these people are just psychic.) So now I spend my time waiting at the bank working on making handmade postcards to send back to the people who have sent me stuff, as well as some to send out to other strangers on the list. Its so much fun! I am going to spend some time in the scrapbook stores tomorrow morning when I’m in Springfield to buy some stickers for the postcards I’ve been making. Its so exciting just to get mail again!

And as Rebecca pointed out, I screwed up the link to the best picture in my last entry, but now its fixed! I have this horrible habit of typing img scr instead of img src. Or maybe I just like keeping you all in suspense.

I watched the Ice Storm last night, which I rented simply because it had Elwood in it. My poor hobbit, being stuck in that crappy movie. I’m sorry dear, but it sucked, although the scene where the parents catch him about to have sex with Christina Ricci is amusing.

Am not turning into a hobbit fancier. Am not!

I’m on page 300-something of FOTR, and am a bit confused. I only have about 150 pages of the book yet, but its only half way through the first movie. I can not figure out how they are going to cram the other half of the movie into just 150 pages! (Err, perhaps to be more technical, how they made half a movie out of 150 pages, since the books quite obviously came first. But you know what I mean)

Time to go to my meeting. Hooray? I’m kind of in the mood to just curl up in bed and work on postcards, but I had all weekend for that, so now I should go be responsible and such. Bleh.

On a sad note, my beloved fish Bogart died on Sunday. We are quite sad.

Oh, and I really want to move to London. Anyone want to come with me?

posted by Crystal 5:39 PM

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