Dec 31

…of 2005. *sigh*

Yesterday, my stress level reached its peak and blew its top and I flipped out all good and proper.

We were all determined to get a headstart on the dreaded inventory. We were all determined that if we had to get our steak and beer to go on Friday night just to finish counting the backroom and work all day Saturday to finish counting the warehouse, then by god, we would. Because New Year’s Day is for relaxing and contemplating 2006 (or whatever year it may be) and for nursing hangovers. AND we can pre-count anything we want before inventory day so long as we know it isn’t going to be sold.

Aaaanyway, Howard, Bruce and Chris (the quasi son) got to work and when they were done with their first section, we decided to do a “test” download to the computer. Little hint? THIS VERY THING is the big reason why I stress out so much. (long story having to do with an inventory that went awry because for two days the shit didn’t download, needless, I am traumatized)

So I plugged in the download cable and set up the program in the computer and tested the download.


my heart lurched a bit…the blood rushed to my face…I tried again…


Howard, sitting with me practically holding my hand, anticipating a bad reaction calmly said. “okay we have two cables, let’s try the other one, maybe this one is just bad”, we switched the cables (god the content of this journal is fascinating lately, no?).

*still nothing*

I immediately called the help desk and placed a “critical” call. I left a frantic message that I’m sure made NO sense.

Howard then calmly (fucker drives me nuts he’s so calm sometimes) suggested maybe I should re-start the entire computer.

With an eyeroll, I give in and restart the computer.

*now the god damn keyboard isn’t working*

*panic ensues on Chris’s part*

Howard tells me to chill out. I restart the computer AGAIN. The keyboard works now. Howard actually has the nerve to say “see? I told you that’s all it was”.

*that sent me over the edge*


Aaaahh, I instantly felt better. Let’s have a bit of chaos, shall we?

He fired back:


Bruce witnesses all of this. It’s the first time he’s ever seen me and Howard interact this way. (even though Ben and Kristen can tell some stories, because oh boy, did we ever have some arguments up there)

He walks in the office and rubs my shoulder and says “Chris, don’t worry, I won’t let you down, we’ll get through this.” I realized how ridiculous I was acting. I took a deep breath and tried the download again.

*works beautifully*

I sigh a big sigh of relief and Howard hugs me. We apologize for being assholes to each other. The boys finish the entire backroom and the walk in freezer. We don’t have to get our steak and beer to go, we can sit at the bar, enjoy our meal and have a few beers. The queen bitch is pleased. Everyone lives another day.

And I reflect and realize that in 2006, I will try not to stress out over trivial things…because clearly there are bigger issues to worry about. I have a good life, a husband who puts up with me, friends and family who do the same, I work for a company that invested more money into us just so we would continue to work for them, I have money in the bank, food in my tummy, I’m taking awesome vacations and seeing the world. I didn’t lose my house or loved ones to a massive flood, hurricane, or mudslide. I didn’t lose my job because of foreign trade. I’m not dying of Cancer or AIDS or god forbid, the bird flu. And neither are any of my loved ones. Sure, we all have problems, and wish for things we don’t have..but I could be doing A LOT worse. In 2006, when I’m stressing out over a stupid download cable, I’ll try to stop and remember that at least I have a job, and that if given a choice of any of the previous bad things? I’ll take that stupid download cable over anything.

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!!!!!

Dec 28

Albeit lots of fruity, frothy, warm, cold, alcoholic drinks that lasted the entire weekend. I was a perpetual drunk.

We had people over on Christmas Eve. My dip was eaten. Tequila shots were taken. The mayor spilled more secrets.

Christmas Day, the mayor’s aunt and uncle made prime rib. Our plates were cleaned, my coconut cake was eaten (and orgasmically raved), the mayor tempted me with more wine, followed by “Peppermint Patties” aka Hot chocolate laced with Peppermint schnappes.

The hangover is just now wearing off.

And I have inventory in less than a week. I, of course, am a little ball of stress. An absolute dream to be around.

But in one month, I will be walking the streets of Rome. And that? is the best Christmas present ever.

Dec 24

To my family and friends from NC, and especially the friends who along with me have moved away to see the world, this is our anthem. I love you all, miss you all the time, and will always consider the mountains of North Carolina my true home. Happy Holidays and can’t wait to see you all again.

Boondocks (Little Big Town)

I feel no shame
I’m proud of where I came from
I was born and raised in the boondocks
One thing I know
No matter where I go
I keep my heart and soul in the boondocks

And I can feel
That muddy water running through my veins
And I can hear that lullaby of a midnight train
It sings to me and it sounds familiar

I feel no shame
I’m proud of where I came from
I was born and raised in the boondocks
One thing I know
No matter where I go
I keep my heart and soul in the boondocks

And I can taste
That honeysuckle and it’s still so sweet
When it grows wild
On the banks down at old camp creek
Yeah, and it calls to me like a warm wind blowing

I feel no shame
I’m proud of where I came from
I was born and raised in the boondocks
One thing I know
No matter where I go
I keep my heart and soul in the boondocks

It’s where I learned about living
It’s where I learned about love
It’s where I learned about working hard
And having a little was just enough

It’s where I learned about Jesus
And knowing where I stand
You can take it or leave it, this is me
This is who I am

Give me a tin roof
A front porch and a gravel road
And that’s home to me
It feels like home to me

I feel no shame
I’m proud of where I came from
I was born and raised in the boondocks
One thing I know
No matter where I go
I keep my heart and soul in the boondocks

I keep my heart and soul in the boondocks

You get a line, I’ll get a pole
We’ll go fishing in the crawfish hole
Five-card poker on a Saturday night
Church on Sunday morning

Say a little prayer for me

Dec 23

Busy weekend for all retailers so here’s some meme for you. Stolen from someone and I can’t remember which person it was, but I assure you it is stolen. lol Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

It’s a Christmas Meme!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Egg Nog. Served ice cold. Last night I had it with Rum. Thank God, this shit is only around once a year. Lest I pop the button on my jeans.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them around the tree? He wraps them.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? I used to swear by white lights but now I’m kind of missing the colors.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No, but I should. I love me some kisses.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Usually the week after Thanksgiving.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Prime Rib with hot horseradish. mmmmmmmm

7. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? What? What truth? He wears a red suit, drives a sleigh with eight reindeer and delivers happiness and joy. ;-)

8. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, Howard and I open one gift each. Usually from each other.

9. What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him? Chocolate Chip.

10. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I live in Alaska. What do you think?

11. Can you ice skate? Can I? yes. Do it well? Hell no.

12. Do you remember your favorite gift? My one carat diamond engagement ring, princess cut, cathedral setting. And every handmade gift I’ve ever gotten. The effort put into it is priceless.

13. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Being with family, ironically, enough. (because of the distance factor)

14. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Peanut butter sandwiched between Ritz crackers and then dipped in chocolate. (is there a name for them? And will you send some to me?)

15. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Searching for the perfect Christmas tree.

16. What tops your tree? An angel

17. Which do you prefer Giving or Receiving? Giving.

18. What is your favorite Christmas Carol? O Holy Night.

19. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Yum

20. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas.

Dec 21

I, on the other hand, wanted to cry when the doctor, while chatting away about breathing and what not, made a small slit in Pepper’s tiny nutsack and squeezed his tiny little testicle out of the hole and pulled it out, clamped it off, cut it and sewed it up before doing the same thing to the other testicle. Then he sewed up the incision, showing us how to do an internal stitch (because you never know when you’re going to need to neuter something or someone right?), put some Tea Tree Oil on it so Pepper wouldn’t want to lick it and that was that. Whole thing took about 20 minutes. My choked back tears turned to fascination. Pepper is still groggy but very clingy to his foster mommy (me). I have blood stains on the carpet and my clothes and we’re following him around with a mop in the kitchen. He peed on Howard on the way home. All the while, we’re sitting there talking about how cool it was to watch something like that. Nevermind the pee and the blood. And when I was holding Pepper while the doctor gave him his shot (to put him under), he rushed over to put a trash can under me in case he puked. I didn’t even flinch.

Yes, we are definitely DEFINITELY devoted pet owners and lovers. Vomit, piss, blood, whatever. Now the question is, will I be this unflinching if I ever have kids?

Dec 21

I read my Christmas stories tonight. I was nervous at first but once I started reading, I relaxed and just went with it. I only made a couple of mistakes but Tim will edit those out. When we did the playback, MY GOD, the southern accent. But Tim loved it and said I sounded “perfect”.

Perfect? Meh. But I could use the flattery right now, so I thanked him politely like a good southern woman.

Also, Dusty really thinks we should do a show together. We have a good rapport, an endless stream of conversation, but it’s usually dark sided dysfunctional stuff. In fact, we both thought it would be hilarious to call the show “Chris and Dusty’s Dysfunction Junction”. But this is a small town and all of his family lives here. And he is the mayor. Not to mention, I run the only store within 200 miles. Oh the havoc we could wreak.

On a completely different subject, we are dog-sitting Pepper once again. My God, but is he cute. He is also completely annoying the dog and cat. Lucky is 13. He wants to lay around and be snuggled by his parents. Katie feels the same way. Pepper? Wants to PLAY! He gets EXCITED! ABOUT! EVERYTHING! Carpet lint? YAAAY! Chris rolled over in her sleep? PARTY TIME! Howard sneezes? WILL DIE OF SHEER EUPHORIA!

What little Pepper doesn’t know is, his dad gave us permission to get him neutered while the vet is in town. Not only will he lose his manhood, but he will be doing it publicly. Yes, ladies and gentlemen. We have sold out this little dog in the name of money and fame. The vet offered to neuter him for free if we allowed him to do it for a two day class he is teaching at the satellite campus here. Of course I jumped on that shit. Seeing a dog neutered for free? Who wouldn’t want that?

7:00pm tonight sharp. I’ll be sure and take some pictures.

Dec 20

Year End Accounting Work.
Upcoming Inventory.
Holiday event planning.
Mailing Christmas Gifts.

You know? I love Alaska. I really do. I’m so amazingly grateful for the experiences of the past three years (even the “Hell or somewhere similar” experience).

However. If I’d just finished college the first time, I could be sitting in a quiet office, editing books, or working in a library.

If I could just get through college NOW, I’d be taking care of patients, making a big difference in the world.

And I could probably be doing it all living right here in Alaska. I think we would have gotten here one way or another.

But then again, I probably wouldn’t have met Tess or Amy, and definitely Kristen and Ben, or all my other Alaskan friends for that matter.

However, it doesn’t make me like my job any more.

Lesson Learned. Children. Listen up. When mom and dad offer to pay for college? Do them and yourself a favor and FINISH while it’s still a free ride!

Dec 19

In the middle of the night, your dog’s wretching wakes you up and without so much as a “Godammit” or “FUCK!”, you get up, flip the light switch, find the puke on the bottom of the bedsheet (where your poor puppy tried to jump off the bed but was too late), remove the sheets, throw them in the washing machine, then change the sheets with your husband’s help, flip off the light switch, crawl back into bed and comfort puppy then fall asleep not five minutes later. Without so much as a word spoken between you and the other human. It’s automatic. And you do it without so much as a complaint.

Yep, I love my dog.

Dec 17

I’ve been dodging Mel and Tim all week because I’ve just been really nervous about this whole radio notion, and I’m completely convinced they will hear my voice-over on the radio, call me later and say “um hi yeah we were VERY sadly mistaken…but here’s a free t-shirt” and right now, I just can’t handle the rejection, but last night, we went to our friend Nick’s house for a little housewarming party.

The little party turned out to be bonfire in his front yard, including half the village, there was this stuff called “jungle juice”, I caught a buzz, and then Mel cornered me.

“Chris, did you get your Appalachian Christmas stories yet?”

“Yes, yes I did”

“We REALLY need to get you in the studio this weekend”

(We have decided my test will be reading of Christmas stories which will air all day on Christmas Day)

“Sure thing, more jungle juice?”

Then the rest of the night was a blur, except for a couple of dufuses who were completely convinced they could ride their snowmachine THROUGH a snowdrift.

And Nick made a drunken speech about everyone turning out for his “little housewarming party”.

And then Howard and I made a grand exit on the snowmachine.

Also, I talked to my friend Pam yesterday. I haven’t spoken with her in nearly a year. I was at work (she called me), we were completely slammed with customers but I managed to mentioned that her habit of beginning sentences with the word “So”, is STILL something I do. She was pleased. I didn’t tell her I am making a concerted effort to quit.

Dec 15

Okay. I know that I say a lot of movies are funny. But seriously. This movie is fucking hilarious. (And I’m sorry mom but that word was needed here, it was just that funny!)

Steve Carell is a comical genius. He is completely convincing. You know those moments when you laugh so hard you can’t catch your breath? And when you’re laughing so hard you’re not making a sound but your mouth is open and your body is shaking like you’re sitting on the spin cycle of the washing machine?

It’s that funny.

There were parts in Sideways that made me laugh that hard but last night was a first in many years. Last night, we were lying in bed, and Howard said my eyes looked bloodshot, like I’d been crying (he was so sure I’d been in the bathroom having another crying fit), and I told him I had been…I’d been laughing so hard, tears ran down my cheeks.


Mo Collins (from MadTV) is in one of the funniest scenes of the movie. I’m a huge fan of her as well, so it’s even better when it’s good writing and someone you really like is in the scene.

So watch it. Most of my readers are sick and twisted anyway. (Except for you mom and Tom; do not watch the movie. It WILL offend you. Except for the whole virginal part…not saying you don’t have a sense of humor because HELLO, you still manage to read this site and still love and support me, however; I can just see your jaw drop, mom, and your face turn crimson so DO NOT SAY YOU WEREN’T WARNED!)

Did I mention how funny the movie was?

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