552 miles... 1 million more smiles.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Mamma Mia!

To the developers of the proposed ABBA museum in Stockholm: What took you so long?

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So it's 7-something in the morning, and I can't sleep. It probably has something to do with the fact that it's way too warm in this apartment (our high temperature hit 84 degrees outside yesterday). It probably has a lot more to do with the fact that I'm stressed out. Cory and I are in the process of buying a condo, and every day I get about 10 more forms in the mail from the title company and our mortgage broker. There's also a good chunk of wedding stress jammed in there, too. Basically, it's all just money-stress, even though the majority of the money we're spending isn't even our money. In fact, it's probably because the majority of the money we're spending isn't our money.

At some point, I should probably write about my brief, ill-fated trip back to Michigan a week ago. It wasn't a trip I was looking forward to making in the first place, and it ended up being a lot worse than I anticipated.

First, it was just way too short. I'm not allowed to take time off during sweeps, which means vacations in November are typically out of the question. I never get to go anywhere for Thanksgiving... in fact, I think I've been allowed to take Turkey Day off exactly once since I started working in television seven years ago. Anyway, thanks to a little creative scheduling, I got to take a day off this month (last Sunday). Since Mondays and Tuesdays are my regular day off, I managed to take a long weekend to fly back home.

Second, I hate travelling. Actually, that's not true. I really enjoy travelling. What I don't enjoy is taking a vacation and spending half of my vacation time on the road. Actually, I don't like going anywhere that takes me longer in travel-time than I'll actually spend at my destination. (This theory extends to work, too. I often have to drive 1-2 hours one-way to shoot a game... but I can only stay for about half an hour because I have a deadline to make. So I drive three hours and spend half an hour at my destination. That drives me crazy!)

Third, I knew the trip would be inherently stressful. I was going back home for my father's wedding. I really wanted to be there, but I also knew that it would drive my mother crazy. I was staying with her, and I knew I wouldn't get to spend much time with her, and I knew she'd be pissed as hell about the whole thing. So I had that to look forward to. I actually made a hotel reservation... just in case.

But there was a factor that I didn't take into consideration.

Food Poisoning.

I woke up Sunday morning at 6:30 feeling terrible. I spent the next five hours running back and forth between the bedroom and the bathroom, all the while trying to pack for my trip, and praying that I'd run out of human waste before I had to leave for my flight. If you've ever had food poisoning, you know how miserable the experience is, so I won't go into the gory details. By the time I left for the airport, I was so physically weak that I couldn't pick up my suitcase to put it in my car. (But that's why I keep Cory around, right?)

You know how, when you're sick, you're particularly irratible? Try flying on the weekend before Thanksgiving when you feel that way. I cannot express deeply enough my contempt for people who don't understand the concept of a single-file line.

To make things even better, as soon as I arrived in Detroit, I threw up in the airport concourse. Welcome home!

For the duration of my visit, I ate virtually nothing. A baked potato (which I didn't keep down). Two slices of apple pie. Soup. Four bites of a sandwich. The food at the reception looked so good (and smelled so good), but every time I took a nibble of something, it tasted funny, and I had to throw it in the trash.

By Tuesday, and my flight home, I felt almost normal again. I only had to make two trips to the bathroom during my return flight (a significant improvement over Sunday's flight). By Wednesday, I was even eating solid food again. So pretty much, I was only miserable the three days I went back to Michigan.

I guess it's true... You can't go home again. But I've known that for a long time.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Bye, Bye, Bo

When I was a kid, there were very few sports figures that I could recognize on sight. I can only think of three... Mark "The Bird" Fidrych (I grew up near Detroit in the 70s, after all), Fran Tarkenton (my mom thought he was cute), and Bo Schembechler.

Today... one day before the biggest University of Michigan football game in nearly a decade, Bo died. He'd been struggling with heart problems, and collapsed a few weeks ago while taping a television program. Today, it happened again, this time for the last time.

Probably Bo's biggest victory came in his first year with the Wolverines-- 1969-- when Michigan beat Ohio State in a stunning upset. It was Schembechler's first win over his former coach, Woody Hayes... but it wouldn't be his last. Bo wasn't planning on being at this year's UM-OSU matchup... but you can bet he was planning on watching it. So, as you watch tomorrow's Michigan-Ohio State game, think of Bo.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Are You Ready for Some Shopping?

"Black Friday" will be upon us in a little more than a week. And if you just can't wait until that 10-pound newspaper arrives on Thanksgiving morning... you can plan out your Black Friday excursion right now at Black Friday.com.

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Only In Florida...

I'm sure that seven-year-old girls try to steal legos from Wal-Mart everywhere.
But only in Florida do seven-year-olds try to steal legos while carrying a 10" carving knife.


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See the World

...Via tacky souveniers.

I stumbled across this very cool photo set on Flickr yesterday-- Apparently, the photographer is working on a book and getting feedback on the internet along the way.

The photo on the left is my favorite, thpugh there are some other great ones.


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Monday, November 13, 2006

The Name Game

Kitty, kitty, bo-bitty, banana-fana-fo-fitty...

I stumbled across this webpage today:
Name My Kitty.com

In four days, the girl who runs the page will name her cute little kitty-cat... and she's enabled voting on the page. I suggested the name "Chartreuse," because of the kitty's amazing green eyes.

Drop by and vote for your favorite-- and please don't let this cat be named something horrible like "Stinky Butt" or "Skin Flute."


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I Can Think of a Few Teachers Who Would Disagree...

You paid attention during 100% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!
Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

The funny thing, many of these questions were about topics I never learned in high school.

World religions? Nope. Shakespeare? Not those plays. Art History? I have my college minor to help me with that.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Only in Florida

When I logged onto the internet at work the other day, this story jumped out at me. It took place in a town about 10 miles from here. I sat at my desk and laughed and laughed, primarily because I have a 12-year-old boy's sense of humor.


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Well, it's been a week since Halloween, and I still haven't shared the saga of Halloween night with you. As I mentioned, I was going to dress as Cher... in part because I already had the black wig.

Ok, there was another reason for a costume change between Saturday and Tuesday. See, I had a bad experience on Saturday night in my Barbie doll costume. We went to the local newsie hangout, an Italian restaurant/karaoke bar, where they were having a karaoke/costume contest (the grand prize was $400, which made getting on stage somewhat enticing). Not only did I completely humiliate myself on the karaoke stage by attempting to sing that god-awful "I'm a Barbie Girl" song, I also nearly got in a fist-fight with some skank as the bar was closing. It's a long story, which I won't get into. Suffice to say, though, that if I was going back to that bar in costume, I wasn't planning to make myself recognizible in any way.

This picture, by the way, were taken late at night, after much of my makeup had worn off. I looked much more Cher-riffic earlier in the evening.

So, when Cory got out of work, we headed over to a friend's house for a brief Halloween soiree. We didn't get there until about 11pm, so we only stayed for about an hour before the party started to break up. From there, we went back to the bar where I'd humiliated myself just a few nights earlier.

Of course, I sang a Cher song, "If I Could Turn Back Time." The grand prize was $100, which wasn't quite as enticing... but I told Cory that if he entered the contest, I would humiliate myself again.

This time, I actually knew the song (ok... I kind of knew the song... and I managed to fake my way through the rest of it). And I kind of sound like Cher when I sing, thanks in part to a long-running joke between myself and my late friend Mike. And I had a large cheering section of tipsy co-workers to support me. And it didn't hurt that the people sitting closest to the stage were hammered, and they thought I was the funniest thing they'd ever seen in their lives.

The result? A nice check for $100.00 was in my hot little hands at the end of the night! Not too shabby, right? I should note that Cory won a $25 gift certificate for his 4th place finish.

I think maybe I should dress like Cher every Halloween.

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