552 miles... 1 million more smiles.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006


By the way, is there anything in the world more annoying than those "Head On" commercials?


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Hurricane, Shmurricane

As far as our first "Hurricane," Ernesto has proved to be more of an annoyance than anything else. No, I'm not complaining.

Of course, Ernesto wasn't a hurricane for long... just a 12-hour stretch on Sunday. Just long enough to get everyone in Southern Florida a little bit nervous. After Charley and Wilma, nobody here really wants to take any chances. No, there wasn't panic. Yes, lines at gas stations got a little bit longer than usual, and I'm sure that sales of flashlights and batteries probably spiked for a day or two.

Schools here have been cancelled for today, which means I had to go in on my day off to do my weekly high school football story. I was prepared to work a long week anyway. Originally, I was supposed to go in at 8 am today to cover tropical storm stuff... but my phone rang at 3:30 a.m. and I was told that the storm had weakened to the point where my services were no longer needed. Yeah, I'll still have to work... but at least I won't have to go in six hours early.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to sleep since. Thank you, Ernesto, for providing me with yet another sleepless night.

As far as the actual weather here is concerned, so far, we've had a little rain with a slight breeze. Mostly, a steady drizzle, with occasional bursts of showers. Watching The Weather Channel, it appears that the rain will get much heavier in the later morning hours, and our yard will probably flood, as it always does when it rains. I'm guessing that some of the really low-lying areas south of here (like Everglades City) will get some flooding, and if we get some heavy rain bands, our electricity may even go out briefly (we seem to lose power for a while every time there's a thunderstorm). But as I've mentioned, I'm no weather expert. I'm just the sportslady.

I'm interested to see what will happen once Ernesto crosses the state and reaches the Atlantic. But for now, I'm just glad that I don't have to be at work in 2 1/2 hours. I think I'll try to hit the hay now.


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Sunday, August 27, 2006


No, this post isn't about "Insomniac," the delightful drunken TV-fest formerly hosted by delightful drunken comedian Dave Attell. This post is about me.

I've always been a pretty heavy sleeper. Once, when I was a kid, our smoke detector started beeping in the middle of the night (low battery), and I didn't even wake up.

But when I do wake up, I often have a lot of trouble falling back asleep. I'm ok, as long as I don't have time to think about anything. A quick trip to the bathroom isn't usually enough to keep me awake... but if I happen to pick up a magazine while I'm in there, look out. Once my mind starts going, I start obsessing about things, and the next thing you know, I'm awake for the long haul.

Nevermind the fact that it's 6:00 am and I didn't get to sleep until after 2:30 am. I'm up.

This morning, the culprits were:
  1. High school football season (we had our first show on Friday night, and we were phenomenally shortstaffed. And we'll be even more short-staffed again this week.)
  2. The wedding. We're going to a bridal show today and we need to get a lot of details worked out.
  3. A nasty tummy-ache.
  4. Ernesto.

So, at about 6:20, I trundled out to the living room, turned on the TV, and fired up the computer. Being a Florida resident... and being a glutton for punishment... I switched over to the Weather Channel. Within two minutes I learned that Tropical Storm Ernesto is now Hurricane Ernesto, and that we're now smack dab in the middle of the "cone of uncertainty."

I prefer the map used by Weather Underground than the one on the NOAA website. The NOAA has Ernesto making landfall on Thursday, just north of Tampa. That's about two hours north of here. And as I know from talking with co-workers, that's the same place that Charley was expected to hit two years ago. Instead, at the last minute, Charley changed his mind and hit here instead. Oh, and he turned into a Category 4 storm right before making landfall. Punta Gorda, just to the north of us, was practically leveled by the storm. There are still hundreds of people living in the FEMA Village there. And the high school there won't be completely reopened for three more years.

See what I mean about obsessing when I can't sleep? Maybe I should go buy more batteries.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Stormy Weather

Fortunately, it looks like Hurricane Debby is just going to be a fish spinner. Bad news for the fish in the Atlantic... but good news for us.

Unfortunately, Tropical Depression Five has formed off the coast of Venezuela. It's expected to become Tropical Storm Ernesto sometime tomorrow morning... and Hurricane Ernesto by Sunday night.

Right now, our cozy little hamlet is right on the edge of the 5-day "cone of uncertainty". Ernesto isn't currently expected to head straight towards us, but if it meets similar conditions to Hurricane Wilma last year, it could hit the Yucutan peninsula, then swing back around Cuba and get us on the rebound.

Sounds like fun, huh?
I hate being a "Nervous Nellie." On the other hand, I don't like being unprepared either. I guess that means we'd better start stocking up on batteries again, just in case.


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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Leapin' Lizards!

One of the great things about living in Florida is that I've only seen one cockroach in the eight months I've lived here. Compared to our time in Georgia, that's nothing. Every time the exterminator came (which was once a month in our apartment complex), we'd find little roach carcasses all over our apartment for the next week or so. We'd also see live roaches about once a week. Granted, Cory and I aren't the neatest people on the planet, but our roach (and palmetto bug) problem had much more to do with the climate than with our cleanliness.

But there's an odd tradeoff here. No, much to my surprise, there aren't as many roaches. However, we do get lizards in our apartment instead.

Not every day. Not even every month. But every once in a while, I catch a tiny little lizard (or anole, or something) in the apartment. Sometimes, I open the front door, and one scurries in. Sometimes they sneak in through the lanai. One time, I found a tail on the floor, then later saw a tail-less lizard on the lanai. And one other time, I found a dead one on the floor.

Today, one was hanging around on the burner in our kitchen. As soon as I spotted him, he zipped underneath the burner where I couldn't reach him. He eventually came out, leading Cory and I on a wild goose chase around the kitchen before we finally trapped him behind the vertical blinds.

We took him outside, and dumped him on the back lawn. He sat there stunned for about fifteen minutes, but I just went out to check on him again, and he was gone. If I were him, I'd be plotting ways to get back into our apartment for the air conditioning.


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Gridiron Glory

A comedian I heard today (Keith Alberstadt) made a great observation about fantasy football:

"Fantasy Football is like Dungeons and Dragons for the guys who used to make fun of people who played Dungeons and Dragons."

So true. Except I always thought D&D was kind of cool in a nerdy kind of way.


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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Lost in Translation

As Pat, a former co-worker of mine, once said, "Karaoke is Japanese for F*ck*ng bad music."

I managed to prove that point quite well tonight.

I won't get into the gory details. Suffice to say that since we moved here, Cory has been pressuring me to do karaoke (the TV-people hangout here in town is a restaurant that does karaoke every night after 9 pm or so). Tonight, I experienced just the right amount of tipsy-ness and willpower (and a fairly empty bar) to join a friend onstage for a little ditty.

Bad idea.

Suffice to say, I won't be appearing onstage again any time soon. It's pretty bad when the best thing your fiance can say after your performance was "I'm sorry."


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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fantasy Girl

You may remember my first experience with fantasy football, two years ago, with my squad the "Girlie Men Express." We finished in second place in our league (and I think we could have won if I hadn't been in New Orleans covering the Sugar Bowl during the final week of the fantasy season).

Last year, I was just too busy to join a league. So this time around, I'm knocking myself out with two teams... the "Panty Wastes" and the "Pink Ladies" (though I'm thinking of changing the name of that team).

I find the most difficult part of playing fantasy football is selecting a name for my team. I don't want to be that boring guy who names his team after his college mascot or favorite pro team. We have a guy in our league who always uses the "Kirksville Vikings" as his team's name. Dude loves the Vikes. Cory often picks Spanish names for his squads.. Last year he was the "Diablos."

This year, I thought I had the best name ever for a fantasy football team: "Brokeback Quarterback." Unfortunately, Yahoo! only allows a team name to be 20 characters, putting it one over the limit. Yeah, I could go with "Brokeback Halfback" or "Brokeback QB," but it just doesn't have the same ring to it.

My first fantasy draft isn't until the weekend-- so if you have any suggestions for team names, let me know.

By the way, if you're a fantasy football fan, take a minute to check out this article. Funny Stuff.


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An Apple A Day...

It seems like all of my spare time has been spent at doctor's offices lately. I had my dermatologist care a couple weeks ago-- he's sending me to a plastic surgeon to remove the rest of my mole, because he knows I work on television and he's scared of getting sued. Most people would be afraid that their insurance wouldn't cover it. However, I'm not bothered by that... because my insurance doesn't cover anything. So, next week, it's off to the plastic surgeon for my consultation.

This week, I spent two hours at the dentist... 1 1/2 of which was spent waiting. One hour in the waiting room, and another half hour in the chair. All so he could tell me that my teeth looked good and that I needed to make an appointment for a cleaning in another week. So, two weeks from now, it'll be another trip to the dentist.

Today, it was the eye doctor... and another long wait.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, huh? I guess I need to eat more apples.


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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Back to the Daily Grind

Cory and I have been back from vacation for a couple of days. It was a nice trip, for the most part. We did lots of fun stuff, including the aforementioned trip to the IKEA store (the can opener works beautifully, by the way), and a visit to the Detroit Zoo (though the baby penguin was hiding from us). I was happy to see the new otter house, where the little guys can play all day long.

Jan was excited to show off her new condo. It looks great... Like Candice Olson decorated it. She had a little party for the neighborhood, and a few of my old friends came over, too. I don't think Nicole and Anne had met before. Anne is my oldest friend from Junior High School, and Nicki and I worked together for years at Foland's while I was in college. It was kind of weird watching my "worlds collide."

We also took a trip to the Redford Theatre in Detroit to see one of Cory's favorite movies, North by Northwest. The theatre is really nice-- a restored old movie house with stars on the ceiling, a big balcony and a pipe organ. Oh, and the concessions were dirt cheap, too. Of course, the movie was great. I'd never seen it before, so it was a treat for me to see it in a real movie theatre.

Speaking of concessions- we also ate way too much. Mini-Quiches, cream puffs and fruit salad at the party-- B.D.'s Mongolian Barbeque and the old standby, Mr. B's (or B-Bar as we used to call it). Cory and I had weighed ourselves on the scale at IKEA on our first day in town... and I gained two pounds over the course of the next five days. Cory gained four. So much for the diet, huh?

Anyway, we're back home, and things are back to normal. I'm working a long week to make up for some of the time I took off, and Cory's working a little extra to cover a co-worker's vacation. Somewhere in there, I'm still trying to plan more stuff for the wedding.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

An Inconvienent Truth

Ok, so I'm behind the times yet again. But last night, Cory and I finally got to see "An Inconvenient Truth."

It was excellent.

No, it didn't teach me much that I didn't already know. The earth is hotter. A lot hotter. And it's our fault. Many politicians and most corporations say we shouldn't worry about it. And they're wrong.

The only problem with the film? The people who really need to see it won't see it. And that's a damned shame. Because this planet is going to hell in a handbasket until we all figure it out.

So, if you can, see the damn movie. Even if you think Al Gore is a damned hippie freak. Even if you love driving your gas-sucking SUV. Even if you think recycling is for pansies. Just do it.

For extra credit, you can read this book: Ishmael.


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Thursday, August 03, 2006

My Cultural Heritage

Ok, so Swedes aren't known for contributing much culturally to the world. Sure, there are Dala Horses, Ingmar Bergman, and ABBA... But since the 70s, there hasn't been much to write home about. Or blog about.

Until IKEA.

Now I know, IKEA's been around for half a century... and in the US for about the last two decades. But I personally hadn't visited the IKEA store until this week. And no, we didn't buy any large furniture in tiny boxes. However, we did purchase a can opener (Though I can't find the exact can opener on their website, so the link is to the one we almost bought).

Perhaps I can combine my fondness for IKEA with my need to purchase a new home. Boklok, anyone?


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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hit the Road, Chris

The worst part about working down here in SW Florida is going to be dealing with the hurricanes... because neither Cory or I are allowed to take time off during a hurricane. So, ever since we requested this week off, we've had our fingers crossed that we won't have to cancel our vacation plans.

Last week, while I was in Orlando at Buccaneers training camp, the local weather guy mentioned "a little tropical disturbance that we need to keep our eye on."

This morning, I'm keeping a close eye on The Weather Channel. That "little tropical disturbance" is now Tropical Storm Chris. And Chris is making me very nervous.

According to the NOAA's 5-day cone, Chris is headed straight for our neck of the woods. Fortunately, we'll be back in town by the time he's scheduled to arrive. Unfortunately, that doesn't give us a lot of time to prepare for it. And it might also get us on our employers' shit lists fecal rosters. So keep your fingers crossed for me that Chris takes a turn to the north or the east. Me? I'll be glued to the Weather Channel.


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