Turkey and Tasers
Monday, November 26, 2007 - 01:44 p.m.

Is it just me, or have more people put their Christmas trees up BEFORE Thanksgiving this year? It seems like everywhere I went from November 17th through Thanksgiving itself, there were people decorating for Christmas. Not just stores, but real people! There were Christmas trees in windows, wreaths and garland on doors and porches, blow-up snow globes on lawns, and plastic, glowing Santas perched on roofs, in mid-NOVEMBER. I mean, the day after Thanksgiving is ridiculous enough, but before? No. Just...no. If I ruled the world, it would be legal to Taser anyone who decorates for Christmas in November. Legal and ENCOURAGED.

Aside from the onslaught of premature Christmas decorations, Thanksgiving was nice. We drove down to Birmingham and spent a fun afternoon hanging out with Todd's dad's family. On our way home we stopped by and visited briefly with one of Toddís aunts on his momís side. I spent Friday working (yay, BMP inspections), then we drove over to Atlanta to spend the weekend watching football with Todd's mom's family. Well, they watched football, I contemplated hanging myself with the cord from the drapes. Ah, I kid, I kid. Really, it was good to see them all, especially since we haven't seen them much this year. While in Atlanta, we also wandered around some new houses being built next to Todd's momís subdivision and got some good ideas for our kitchen backsplash. Even on vacation, we're still on the job. ;-)

Speaking of home improvements, the new carpet is in, the new kitchen counters and sink are installed, and we're making progress with the remaining flooring. I love the countertops and I'm slowly coming to love the carpet. The sink, I want to make out with every single day, because oh my god, I never knew a kitchen sink could be so awesome. This weekend, we plan to complete the hardwood in the living room, which ought to be one hell of an adventure. Monday, if weíre not crippled from hunching over all day, still sleeping off the effects of the glue fumes, or divorced, Iíll post some pictures. Just so you know, the pictures will be for me, not for you, because Iím fully aware how boring this crap is if itís not your house.

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A weary nation sighs its relief...
Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 09:39 a.m.

"Should the electorate find themselves not happy with the slate as elected, whoever is in second position will gladly assassinate the other in order to bring about a referendum."

Hey, it beats the hell out of Zathras and Zathras.

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Photos from the weekend
Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - 11:31 a.m.



Elizabeth and Josh came to visit for the weekend, so we took them on a tour of Huntsville. One of our stops was Monte Sano State Park.



Despite the drought and the warm temperatures, Huntsville has some gorgeous fall colors this year.

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Things will never be the same
Wednesday, November 14, 2007 - 03:26 p.m.

I...I trusted you. I thought we shared everything, or at least the things that really matter. And now, now I find you've been keeping secrets all this time, secrets that could change my life in ways I can't even describe. How could you? HOW COULD YOU?

Instead, I have to find out, in passing, from a coworker. Why didn't you ever tell me that Betty Crocker has little cakes you can bake in the microwave? With packets of fudge you swirl into the batter and only 150 calories per cake? Molten chocolate cake anytime, anywhere, as long as you have a microwave nearby. Oh, internet people, WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I NEEDED YOU?

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Boy is it ever Monday
Monday, November 12, 2007 - 05:07 p.m.

I was just informed that to get my bonus at the end of the year, I have to work an extra 3.5 hours each day through December 31. This assumes I take no days off between now and then.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go stick needles in my eyes.

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Best Christmas card ever
Monday, November 12, 2007 - 01:54 p.m.

Sadly, they are all sold out. But the other one is funny too.

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Crunch time
Monday, November 12, 2007 - 09:25 a.m.

Yesterday afternoon we started moving stuff out of the bedrooms so the carpet could be installed today. Our dining room is currently a feline amusement park, with the contents of two and a half bedrooms (and their respective closets) crammed in as tightly as possible. This morning we hopped dragged out of bed to haul our 11,000,000 tons of bedroom furniture into the living room in time for Todd to pull the carpet before the installers arrived.

Tonight we'll have new carpet, and I'm praying to all the home improvement gods and angels that it looks nice and doesn't make me want to claw my eyes out. And then we get to move everything BACK IN AGAIN.

And THEN, we'll start demolishing our kitchen countertops. The new ones come in Thursday and before they're installed we have to touch up the cabinets and the walls. Since we're busy both Tuesday and Wednesday night, we have to do it now, of course. Which means we won't have a kitchen for the next three days. Here's to microwave meals and paper plates!

And did I mention we have guests coming Friday? I actually have nightmares about this sort of thing, except this time? It's REAL.

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Reminders
Thursday, November 8, 2007 - 11:38 a.m.

I guess my perspectives on gender issues are somewhat warped by how I was raised. My mother is a doctor, my father is a chemical engineer, and the only bias in their household was towards the sciences. Growing up I played with baby dolls, My Little Ponies, and Barbie dolls, but also a Tonka dump truck, a microscope kit, a chemistry set, and an Erector set. I went to electronics day camps and ballet classes. I loved The Little Mermaid and Star Wars. It never really occurred to me that girls did this or boys did that until it was too late to change the mindset of, "Yeah? Well, I can do it all, bitches."

So I admit, I'm still kind of naÔve about gender issues today. I'm generally unaware that for many people there's still a long way to go. In my mind it's all old history, something that no one really thinks about anymore. (In my defense, this blind spot is also due to the fact that no one who knows the Nestor women would ever dare to place restrictions on female capabilities. Well, at least no one who likes life without a colostomy bag.) But every now and then something comes along and reminds me just how much of a gap remains.

For instance, I recently saw a commercial for the new Playskool Rose Petal Cottage, and...well, I might have thrown up in my mouth a little bit. It wasn't the idea of playing housewife that did it. My sister and I had a Strawberry Shortcake play kitchen and obviously I was not scarred or stifled by it in the least. And actually, the Rose Petal Cottage itself is pretty cute Ė as a kid, I would have loved it. No, it was the commercial and its not-so-subtle reinforcement of the worst kind of stereotypes that made my hackles rise. "I love when my laundry gets so clean | taking care of my home is a dream dream dream," a little girl trills. HORK! You think I'm kidding? Go check it out.

The other day a friend of mine, an incredibly smart engineer, who by all accounts does exceptional work for her company, was in a meeting - a meeting in which she had an actual engineering function - and her boss asked her to leave to get him a cup of coffee. If my boss told me to step out of an important meeting to go fetch him a cup of coffee, I think my head would explode because one (smallish, female) skull cannot contain that much incredulity.

And then there's the results of a recent study conducted at Penn State that seem to indicate that while it's becoming more acceptable for men to cry, women who shed a tear or two are obviously hormonal and probably right on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

It's these kinds of little reminders that bring you back to earth and make you realize things aren't as fair as you might like to think. That despite all the hard work your grandmothers and mothers have put into changing the system, and regardless of the fact that you yourself are out there proving every day that gender doesn't matter, there's still a lot of work left to do.

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Bring it on
Wednesday, November 7, 2007 - 09:49 a.m.

Okay, guys, we have a new layout, and we all know what that means. It's time for all of you to tell me exactly how badly I've mutilated my html. I know my code makes many of you very very sad, so please tell me what's screwed up and, if you know anything about html, how to fix it. Remember, my page designs are pretty much the result of trial and error. And if it's beyond salavation, which it could very well be, I'll go back to the previous layout until I find someone to bribe into helping me.

:::

Monday night Todd flew in from spending five days in Texas. He got home at around 11:30 PM. At 8:10 the next morning he flew out to New York. He thought he wasn't leaving until 1:30 PM, but when he checked his email at midnight he discovered they'd changed his plans. Let me just say that when you're already missing someone more than normal, seeing them for three hours before they leave again kind of sucks. I'm glad he was able to drop in, but it wasn't exactly fair to either one of us.

On the upside, one of our vendors is taking us out to dinner next week and Todd will actually be in town to go. I think the vendor rep was starting to think I'd made Todd up, because Todd was always conveniently out of town for these events. ;-)

:::

'Golden Compass' Film Angering Christian Groups

HAR! I actually really enjoy the books, but to be fair to the wingnuts, the books are anti-church (well, anti the fictional church found in Lyra's world). Of course, if one's religion is so fragile that a few children's books can damage it, then I'd say the children's books aren't the biggest problem facing said religion.

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Two things
Monday, November 5, 2007 - 03:04 p.m.

  • You know, I used to think that environmental regulations were the most mind-numbing thing on the entire planet. Now I know that it is, in fact, federal highway standards. Please excuse the vacant drooling, it comes with the coma.

  • My stomach has no concept of Daylight Savings Time. Time to eat is time to eat, no matter what the clock says. Therefore, I am slowly dying.

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