Saturday, November 27, 2010

Just a quick pic...

A friend posted a better pic from our DVD party the other day so I wanted to go ahead and post it. The one I used before was tiny!

Friday, November 26, 2010

And so it begins...

Yesterday was a wonderful thanksgiving. We had two dinners; one at my mother-in-law's and one at my grandmother's. Food was excellent, company was even better, and I came home with a whole cooler full of leftovers for Not-So-Ex.

And the reason for the cooler was because Not-So-Ex was working yesterday. Yep, he worked a 10 hr day on Thanksgiving. And he's working today. And tomorrow. And he won't have a day off till next weekend. Now this will mean an incredible paycheck next week, and a very painless Christmas season. But I really feel for him too. It can't possibly be fun.

But now begins the Christmas season. The kids will be easy to buy for this year. Easy but expensive. Everyone else will probably be pretty simple too. It's amazing how much less stress there is when you know you have money in the bank.

While the shopping is getting geared up, the baking will be too. At home, I always bake tons of cookies and cupcakes for gifts. This year, I'll be doing it at home and at the bakery. This Sunday I'll actually start cookie production. It'll be fun but stressful. I've gotta get quicker at it so that it won't overwhelm me when we start really selling them.

Most of all though, I just want to make sure this season is fun. It's too easy to get caught up in everything and just let it all pass you by in a big blur. I wanna see all the little moments.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Getting ready for some serious thanks giving...

This morning started seriously early cause I had to get into the bakery first thing and finish up an order. But the plus side of that is that it's 9 am and I'm already done working for the day and home to chill out. Plus I got home just as the kiddos were waking up, so my timing was perfect.

So the plan for today is to spend some time with my kids. There's a Psych marathon today, which makes all of us happy. And I'm also hoping to get some cleaning done.

Yesterday, in a stroke of brilliance, I found a wide dog gate that we can put up between our living and dining room. This is awesome for us cause it means we can actually have a normal Christmas Tree this year. So I definitely need to get in there today and start getting it cleaned up and get all the stuff out of there.

Well I guess that's it for today. I'll post some about our weekend trip to Pittsburgh! I'm still just a bit worn out from it all.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A timeline of awesomeness...

I'm having trouble putting all of this week's incredible events into a narrative form right now so I'm gonna try to give a quick blow by blow and maybe stories will come later.

11:30 am - I pick up a quiet but nervous Jesco in Boone County to take him to the airport to head to LA.

12:30 - Jesco and I have our luggage checked and all our stuff together so we stop for a bite to eat in the airport before flying out. In the process, he is asked for 3 autographs and two photos. I'm also asked if I'm his wife. Yeah. Great.

1:50 - Plane leaves. Everything is on schedule. Jesco's mood is good. All is well.

Around 3 - Stop in ATL where we change planes. Layover is so short we rush to get to the gate and find they've just started boarding. Timing is good, but Jesco didn't get any time for a smoke or some coffee.

3 (our time) -6 ish (LA time) - On the big plane, you can watch tv on a monitor in the headrest which Jesco enjoys immensely. You can also watch the flight progress, which he was fascinated by. He also wanted to know all about the vampire book I was reading. I may make him a Sookie fan eventually.

7 - We get off the plane and head to get our luggage and we find our driver who is holding up a sign like in the movies.

8 - We get to the hotel and meet up with the producer, his wife, and the director and head out to get Jesco's hair cut at one of the director's friend's houses. When we arrive, she has a friend there who is pretty intoxicated and gives Jesco some Fernet, which he didn't like. He was trying to be nice so he took a few drinks but tried to get away from her. We decide that, instead of the haircut, we need to hurry up and get dinner and a show.

9 - We get dinner at a mexican place where there was also a show featuring Troy Walker. It was an experience. Jesco loved him but, for whatever reason, continually referred to him as "the little leprechaun" or, occasionally, "the magic leprechaun." I was sitting beside Jeff Feuerzeig, who directed The Devil and Daniel Johnston and I didn't realize it. I was sitting across from Art Fein who, among a million other really interesting things, managed The Cramps at one point. Interesting side note, I was introduced to The Cramps by a truly terrible boyfriend, but I still love them. Of course, I didn't know who he was either, although his mention of Phil Spector at least let me know I was wayyyyyy out of my league.

*Note to self - When Julien mentions a person that's going to be hanging with us, google them immediately. Then I could have actually held a conversation.

10-ish - Drunk girl from earlier in the evening came to the show. And she hit on Jesco. Hard.

*Note to others - One thing I never want to hear again in my life... "I totally just had my tongue in Jesco's mouth."

12 - Realize that said drunk girl actually scared Jesco by hitting on him so hard. He began to refer to her as "the black widow" and became convinced that she had actually been trying to poison him by sharing her drink with him earlier in the evening.

1ish - Head home, make rough plans to go to Universal the next day, then turn in. Side note, our hotel rooms were all suites and had fireplaces in them. They were brutally awesome.

7 am - I wake up and decide to hurry and head out to Magnolia Bakery for cupcakes.

8 - Walk to Magnolia, which turns out to be much further than I expected but meant I got to check out some of the area. On the way back, meet up with the producer and his wife (who is awesome, which I think is because she was born on the exact same day I was) for breakfast at a nice diner. Find out that Jesco is feeling crappy.

10 - Get Jesco some medicine and head back to hotel. Find out that Jesco is now convinced that he's sick because of "the black widow" and is now scared of her. We give him a dose of tummy meds and let him rest for a bit.

10:30 - Julien arrives and starts getting Jesco in a better mood.

11:30 - Julien has gotten Jesco out of his room and his mood has done a 180. We head out to get his hair cut and dyed in Echo Park.

3 - Jesco's hair is did and we head to Home for food. They offered Red Velvet pancakes and I still regret not getting them. After about 15 minutes of trying to figure out what we could order for Jesco, who wanted fried shrimp, we finally got everyone good stuff and had a great lunch.

4 - Julien takes us back to the hotel to get ready for the party. In the process, I experience a truly surreal moment as we're rolling through Hollywood in Julien's old Caprice listening to old country music in German. Yes, in German. Very, very strange but not surprising.

5-7 - Getting ready for the party. I did two things I haven't done in AGES; I used a curling iron AND ironed my shirt. Go fig.
7 - The black Benz picks us up and takes us to The Smog Shoppe where the party is being held. The place is straight up awesome. It starts out with us and the American Express and Tribeca folks but soon others start rolling in.

8-ish - The money people introduce the "filmmakers" responsible for the movie. At this point, I'm sitting on the couch joking around with Jesco cause he had started getting really nervous. I wasn't expecting to be introduced. So they say Julien, then Johnny Knoxville, then Storm, then me. And I'm on the other side of the crowd. I hear a few "Where's Paige"s and holler that I'm coming. They pass a mic down to each of us and, again, I didn't expect to be handed the mic. But, they did, right after introducing me as the chick that saved their ass. It was really cool to be treated as a real and valuable part of the film, even though I'm a nobody.

9-ish - Deke Dickerson, who did most of the music for the film, began playing and Jesco would go and dance every now and then. Sometimes he'd sing. Sometimes he knew the words. Sometimes none of us actually cared if he didn't. There's something about watching him perform... something about seeing him so incredibly happy and receiving attention and just receiving kindness from the audience... I could just feel myself beaming at his level of excitement. And I looked over and saw the same look on Johnny Knoxville's face. And I knew for sure that he really did get Jesco. It made me really feel good.

10 - Celebrities everywhere. Most of them cool. I got pics with a couple and tried to sneak pics of some others. I was really impressed with Knoxville. He was funny as hell and could talk to just about anyone. Kid Rock was REALLY calm. The Situation was less obnoxious than I woulda thought. Angela from Bones was there and I was in awe (love that show) but I tried not to stare. And one of the Jackass boys had the same color hair as me. *sigh*

11 - The party ended and we were loosed on the streets of LA. We ended up at a gay bar called FUBAR. It was entirely too gay for me.

12 - We finally leave FUBAR, which is when I realized my phone (which happened to be the only place to find the number to call our driver to pick us up) was completely dead. And I mean not turning on dead. And chaos ensued. To try to avoid all the crappy parts, we eventually ended up getting back to the hotel.

1- An irritated Paige gets into her pjs and into bed. Then comes a text from Julien asking me to come hang out with everybody. I agree, but only if I can hang in my pjs (which matched my hair coincidentally).

3 - I am the first to give it up and call it a night.

6 - Jesco finally goes to sleep.


Actually, Friday is kinda a sleepy blur. But, obviously, we caught our flight and made it home. By the time I delivered Jesco to Boone Co, it was actually Saturday morning.

And, just for the record, I'm still seriously tired!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Is that turquoise hair? Why yes, yes it is.

Tomorrow I get on a plane headed for glitzy Los Angeles. I just couldn't do that without some crazy change and this seemed just right.

Honestly, I figure that there are very few times in your life when you can look however you want to. In the past, I've always had to "look professional" or some such thing. But, for the time being, I can look any way I want. And I kinda dig it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Things I never thought I'd hear...

So Mondays generally come with bad news, cranky moods, and exhaustion. But, like I mentioned earlier, I wasn't having too bad of a day. And then came 3 pm.

I was at the kids' school doing the pick up thing plus, since it was Mom's b-day, I was visiting her and taking her a whole slew of cupcakes. I hung out a bit longer than intended and, when I got back to the car, checked my phone and saw messages. When I checked the message, it was a very intense sounding Julien, my director from the White movie, so I called him back immediately.

To get to the good part, Julien asked if I could fly out. On Wednesday. So, in less than 48 hrs, I will be in LA getting ready to hang with folks like Johnny Knoxville. They're having a big BBQ to celebrate the DVD release of the film.

I was totally shocked. And super excited. Of course, when he asked, I told him I thought we could pull it off but I'd have to talk to Not-So-Ex. I gotta say, Not-So-Ex is so awesome that he didn't even hesitate. Even though his wife just asked to jet off to the other side of the country with 2 days notice.

To be honest though, I'm glad I had so little notice. No time to obsess. No time to worry or plan (the two are synonymous for me). I just gotta get my act together and get my butt on the plane.

Ahhhhhh... the joys of Monday...

So today hasn't been my standard Monday. There has been no watching the DVR, in fact I don't think I've had the tv on all day. How bizarro.

Anyway, the reason for the lack of viewing pleasure is because I simply had too much important stuff to do today. You see, today is my Momma's birthday! So I decided she should celebrate with all of her employees and coworkers. I have been either shopping or baking since I dropped the kids off at school around 8 this morning.

My baking situation has been total win today. I made Strawberry Lemonade, Vanilla Bean, Cherry Vanilla, and a special Chocolate Cupcake. All turned out perfectly (or at least so far... my frosting for the Choc is still cooling) and got them all baked, frosted, and boxed with no issue.

However, my shopping situation has been total fail. I went to Krogers first thing and thought I got enough stuff to handle all the cupcakes. But, once I got back home and got started, realized that I would be out of eggs within one batch and that I was out of piping bags.

Still, I thought it wasn't a biggie. There's a nasty little convenience store on the corner and I figured eggs from there would be fine. And there's a little party store about 5-10 min from here for the piping bags. So I hit the little store. They had eggs, but they went out of date Nov 4. So I tried two more small stores, neither of which had eggs. And then I just gave up and went to a real grocery store. They had eggs all right, but no piping bags. So I still had to stop at the party store for them. What I thought would take about 15 min took an hour.

But none of that matters now. All that matters is that I can get these beauties to my Mom so she can celebrate! Plus Not-So-Ex is pretty psyched cause he gets to take the leftovers to work with him. So everyone wins!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day Thoughts

Today was Veterans' Day and I got to attend a special program at the kids' school. I sat in the crowd with my daughter, aunt, uncle, and papaw and watched the slideshow of veterans. I always love seeing all that papaws and dads up their in their uniforms, most of them looking like little more than kids.

But then comes the picture of Ben. And it hits so incredibly hard.

Ben was the same age as me, even though he was a year behind me in school. He and his family had been missionaries in the Philippines when he was young so the first time I remember his family was when they were home on furlough and it was a really big deal.

I'm sure I've said this before, but Ben was my first crush. I never told him. And I never did anything about it. All my friends crushed on his older brother. But I just liked quiet, shy, smiling Ben.

There have been a lot of church families I've known that couldn't live up to the expectations that come with titles like "missionary" or "pastor." But this family wasn't one of them. Many years later, his mom would help me carry my infant to my car after church... help me get all of the baby stuff into my mess of a car. Never judging the young, chaotic mom. Never looking down. Offering nothing but kindness.

Just over three years ago, Ben was killed by an IED in Baghdad. He was 31. He never got to get married... never got to have kids and watch them grow... never got to grow old.

When he died, I was angry. It wasn't fair. His family gave up so much. Why did he have to be taken as well? As has happened many times in my life, I questioned my beliefs. It didn't make sense. It still doesn't make sense to me. But I have found some peace. At some point, I just had to realize that a person who had dedicated so much of his life to God would be horrified that his death brought up these kinds of questions. So, instead, I've tried to remember to be thankful that he was willing to sacrifice his life for people like me... And, more importantly, for people like my children.

So, this year, when his picture came up on the slideshow, I'll admit that I gasped and teared up. But then I put my arm around my daughter and told her all about this boy named Ben.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Working on a mood swing...

So I'm not in the best of moods this morning. I got the kiddos to school, came home and settled in to start my Monday routine, which generally starts with watching Dexter and Boardwalk Empire from DVR. However, Suddenlink changed all our channels last week so Boardwalk Empire didn't get recorded. I caught Dexter, but no BE, which makes for a sad chicklet.

But I don't wanna stay in a crappy mood so, in order to swing that mood on over, here are some of the things that make me happy.

1. Having a borrowed car of my own for the week (my parents are on vacay) so that the kids and I don't have to be up before the sun to take Not-So-Ex to work.

2. Having remembered that I got paid over the weekend, picking up the check on time, and knowing that I can get it to the bank today with no problem.

3. Knowing that said check means I can get groceries, help out a friend in need, and maybe even get a start on Christmas shopping with no worries.

4. Bills being paid, rent being paid, a warm home, filled with well fed family.

5. A hubs that works extra hours to support a family that loves him. He even worked two 12-hr shifts this week! That's a whole lotta exhaustion.

6. Two ornery doggers that I love just as much as I fuss at them. Or, in the case of Lucy the Asthmatic Demon Dog, almost as much. LOL

7. Kids that love to spend time with their Momma.

8. A living room full of dwarf trees and plants so they'll be in good shape in the spring.

9. Seed catalogues. LOL

10. Mornings spent washing dishes, cleaning floors, doing laundry, and painting walls. They often suck when you're in the middle of it, but it makes the house so much more homey.

Alright, I have tons of work to get down too. My mood is getting better already!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A brief glimpse into the mind of a nine year old goofball

These are the conversations my son and I had on the way to school this morning. And, yes, the drive to school is only 15 minutes.

1. H: Why do dogs get a winter coat?
Me: Cause they need it to keep warm.
H: But why don't I get one? I mean, come on, I get cold too. It's just not fair.

2. H: Know what I love about my Steelers sweatshirt?
Me: That it says Steelers?
H: Well yeah, but what I love most is the hood. Walked to the car in the rain and not the least bit wet!
Me: Your winter coat has a hood too.
H: Yeah but the sweatshirt doesn't make me feel all "poofy" like my coat does.

3. H: What do you like better, goat cheese or steak? (I should mention here that he is obsessed with goat cheese. I blame Lola's incredible pan-seared goat cheese salad.)
Me: I don't know. Why?
H: I just wondered.
Me: Which do you like?
H: I like goat cheese AND steak.

4. H: When is Christmas?
Me: December 25th.
H: What's today?
Me: November 4th.
H: Ok. I think I can wait that long.

5. Me: What are you wanting for Christmas?
H: From you?
Me: No. From Santa.
H: So you mean from you?
Me: No. I mean from Santa.
H: So you mean from you?
Me: NO. I mean from Santa.
H: So you mean from you. And, yes, I'm gonna keep saying that till you admit they're from you. I promise I won't tell Sissy. (Sissy is 13 1/2)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

As the numbers pour in...

So it's election day. And, around these parts, it's been an exceptionally ugly, brutal, and, to rather liberal types like myself, useless campaign. On one hand, there was Manchin, a republican in democrat's clothing. And then there was Raese, who woulda been scary in any party.

And I'm sooooooo glad it's over. I did my part. I went into the booth and colored in the bubble by the lesser evil and hoped for the best.

Other than the whole voting thing, I had a pretty killer day, despite the fact that the majority of my family was feeling pretty crappy. I got the kids to school and the hubs to work, then I headed in myself. I knew we just needed to get through today and then I could keep the sickie kids (and mom) home tomorrow for some soup, snuggling, and healing time.

Once I got to work, thing went pretty well. It was a calm day in the bakery and I managed to make some new cupcakes and sell quite a few too, which always makes me happy. I made my Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes for the first time and, since they were filled and had a special organic peanut butter cup on top, they were just slightly more expensive than my standard cupcake. And they were flying out of there. My favorite comment of the day was when one of my facebook friends came in and said "I saw the pic on facebook and knew I needed some of those in my life."

I got out of work at just the right time, handled some medication issues for my daughter, picked up the kiddos from school, and then got Not-So-Ex. We went to vote and then wrapped up the day with dinner at Lola's, which always makes for an excellent evening.

I'm looking forward to being home with the kids tomorrow, even if it is cause we're all under the weather. I see lots of Psych watching in our future. And probably lots of soup. And sneezing. My daughter and I have really been bonding recently. I know it sounds silly, but I'm really, really enjoying her company. And that feels so awesome. Since she's 13, I know the days of us actually enjoying each other may be numbered, so I'm really, really holding tight to these times.

Anyway, hope everyone has a good post election day. Hey, if nothing else, at least we can all celebrate the end of all those awful election ads!