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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Let's give 'em something to blog about

Ok so I have to admit that I have been wanting to use that title for a post for months now, but until today, I haven't had a good reason to. And guess what... I still don't have a good reason to. And guess what else... I just ended TWO sentences in a row with prepositions. Shame on me. Anyway, I like that song ("Let's Give 'Em Something to Talk About"), so I am keeping the title whether it fits or not. How do you like them apples?

So let me make a few things clear, readers. I just ate a bag of Skittles for no particular reason, and I am regretting it. 47 grams of sugar in one snack (and yes, I just dug my wrapper out of the trash can to find out that information) is a little much, don't you think? Well my stomach sure does. And I know that in about half an hour, I am going to crash and burn from this sugar high and wish that I had done something sensible... like not go to Target during my lunch break out of boredom and buy candy just because it was there?

But that's ok. While I was there, I also bought this book:
It was actually my main motivation for the impromptu trip to Target, as I recently read Something Blue, which (I think) parallels this new book. I'll let you know how it turns out.

And can I quickly say something else about Skittles? (Don't try to stop me.) Do any of you pick fruity candy (Skittles, Starbursts, etc.) over chocolatey candy because you think it has to be healthier? And on that note, does anyone pick vanilla soft serve over chocolate soft serve at Jason's Deli because its lighter color means it has to be healthier as well? I must be turning into my Dad, because this is dangerously similar to his theory that states that if you eat food while watching sports, it doesn't count, because someone is burning calories? Ok backing away from my tangent/proof of my craziness.

Anyway, I'm not sure what it is about Target that is so soothing/therapeutic/addicting/amazing, but I love that place. It's just so clean and orderly, and even their Target brand products look classy and appealing. In contrast, the Walmart brand products look like one step up from a ziploc bag labeled in sharpie... more of an afterthought, if you will. The particular Target that I went to today was a Super Target. Emphasis on Super. If I didn't already have a free place to live, I would highly consider moving in to a Super Target and living there forever. Why would I ever have to leave, other than for weddings, births of children (but if someone had a baby in Walmart, I could get away with having one in Target), and other life-changing events? Anyway, it's worth a thought. And if you refer to my last post, apparently I am going to be living in Target and married to allergy medicine. I've got a bright future ahead of me, don't I?

Today while Allison and I were e-mailing back and forth, er, I mean working diligently, I told her about these All Bran crackers that my mother-in-law shared with me this weekend, and mentioned that I was thinking about buying some to replace my vomit-inducing bananas as a morning snack. Here was her response:

All-Bran crackers with cheese sound yummyyyyyy. I like anything bran these days, because I am an 84 year old trapped in a 24 year old's body. Maybe when I really am 84, I'll act like I'm 24. We'll probably be living together at that point after our husbands have died off, so you can be around to enjoy it.

Don't worry, Brian and Wade, we aren't planning on you dying off any time soon, but let's face the facts, women live longer than men do. Especially women as stubborn and persistent as the Nelson twins. Anyway, here was my response:

I can't wait until we get to be roomies again- but can we have our own rooms? And will you still do most of the cleaning? I will do most of the eating in return.

And then here was her response:
Oh and yes, we can have our own rooms and I will do all of the cleaning except the bathroom floor. I will do most of the cooking, too. Then I will take care of you because you will eat so much that you gain too much weight and have to be wheelchair-ridden.

I don't know if it's common for people to move back in with their siblings after their spouses pass away, but it would sure beat living alone. We're strange, I know. Anyway, this is your official invitation to come visit us in 60 years when we are living together. Just make sure to take me for a spin around the neighborhood in my wheelchair when you visit.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I heart Peeps.




Ok so they don’t taste that great, but they are so cute, and they have become a Nelson family tradition/joke, so I am therefore comfortable declaring my love for Peeps. And if you’re ever looking for a way to get rid of Peeps without actually having to eat them, I highly recommend putting them in the microwave… it’s quite entertaining, I assure you.

And speaking of Peeps, what a wonderful Easter weekend Brian and I had this year. We spent it in La Grange at his grandparents’ ranch with his extended family, and were fortunate enough to have 3 days of perfect weather! I left briefly on Saturday morning to go to a wedding shower for a friend in Austin, and then came back to the ranch with my parents in tow. The mixing of the families went well, and everyone (especially my dad) was well-fed. We surprisingly didn’t play any games this weekend, but considering my past luck in games with the Joiners (just a minor foot fracture in a game of Guesstures, that’s all), that might have been a good thing!

I am officially (almost) over my allergies, so that’s also a good thing. Brian’s mom gave me some Allegra D and if I wasn’t already a married woman, I might get down on one knee and propose to that wonderful little pill because it got rid of my allergies like nothing has ever done before. So on this Monday after Easter, I want to thank God for (a) sending His son to die on the cross for our sins (for the Easter story, please refer to: Mark 14-16 … or any of the other gospels for that matter) and (b) Allegra D.

In townie news, I can hardly contain myself because the next 2 stories are so amazing:

1. Brian and I decided to go to Larry’s (refer to previous post) for dinner on Thursday night. While we were there, a family at the table next to us was celebrating 2 birthdays—one for a little boy, and one for the dad. While the fact that Larry’s is where they chose to spend their birthday dinner was amazing enough on its own, what made the story even more townie-riffic was what we saw when watching the dad open his birthday presents. He pulled his presents out of the box, and lo and behold, one of them was none other than a pair of JORTS! YES, jean shorts. I know that the appropriateness of jorts has long been disputed, but I am here to tell you that jorts are really only ever appropriate if you are from a small town and are currently or are striving to one day be a townie.
(Please note that if you or a loved one wear jorts, I still love you and am sorry for passing judgment.)

2. Yesterday when we were driving back from the ranch, we were just a few blocks away from our house and happened to drive by this car wash (that Brian thinks is the cool place for townies to hang out in Richmond). Anyway, there were understandably several people there washing their cars, as it was a clear, sunny day. What was not normal, however, was that there was a group of people there washing 2 horses. At the car wash. In the middle of town. Horses? Seriously? At a car wash? I am still trying to wrap my brain around that one. Brian and I witnessed this scene and both instantly knew that it had to be mentioned in the blog. Only in Richmond…

Happy Monday, everyone!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Unbelievable

This article on cnn.com makes me want to throw up. Don't worry, it's not gross or anything, just disturbing.

Irony at its finest




I noticed this item sitting out by our sink this morning. It has always been there, but for some reason the irony of its name really struck me today. I like clean dishes and all, but I'm just saying ... :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tales of a townie

It’s Monday morning, and I know that most of you only have one thing on your mind: “What did Brian and Amanda do this weekend to further their progress towards becoming true townies?” Well have no fear, reader, because I will share a few details of our weekend with you… and what a townie weekend it was!

Friday was an adventure to say the least. We began our Friday afternoon cleaning tradition by starting a load of laundry and the dishwasher. I thought something smelled kind of funny, but Brian assured me that I was imagining it, and I went about wiping down the kitchen and cleaning out the sink. A few minutes later, right after I flipped on the sink disposal, Brian started to notice the smell as well… at the same time that I noticed that the disposal wasn’t draining.

We flipped the switch on and off and realized that the drain was backing up into the sink… if this has never happened to you, then consider yourself lucky. Just picture everything that you’ve attempted to dispose of with the disposal rising back up in little bits and pieces in stagnant water. Yum. I asked Brian how much I’d have to pay him to drink the murky water and he said he wasn’t interested… weird.

Anyway, Brian attempted to un-clog our sink pipe and drain some of the water out into a bucket. It was then that I noticed that the water was rising (rapidly) in the sink. Awesome. I then turned around to see water spilling onto our kitchen floor and into our pantry from the washing machine. Awesome. I started screaming at Brian (because what else does a rational person do in this situation?) and Brian was yelling because he couldn’t get the water to stop gushing out under the sink, and I don’t really remember much else (due to my blind rage) until Brian ran outside and turned off all of the water.

So there we stood, in a small lake of standing water in one half of our kitchen. It wasn’t deep and it wasn’t even covering that much floor, but it was enough to make me just a little bit crazy. I began mopping as quickly as possible while Brian got on the phone with the church (they own the house) and the plumbers to see what we could to do rectify this situation (I think “rectify” is a funny word). I will also note that our kitchen floor is gross- it’s this really old school plastic fake tile that is warped and has cuts in it and a few nails sticking out of it (safe, right?). So this whole situation really tempted me to leave the water where it was until it so completely destroyed the floor that we had no choice but to get new tile put in… but then I made a quick mental decision that the church would probably not appreciate this move, so I continued mopping.

Fast forward a few hours later: the plumbers arrived with tools in hand ready to tackle our problem. We apparently had a big grease trap built up, but it is now fixed and they made sure to give us some miracle drain cleaner to use weekly to prevent it from happening again. Oh the joys of living in an old house.

Anyway, the townie part of that story was that we used local plumbers. Does that count? After our plumbing disaster, we ate dinner at home, took a walk around the neighborhood, and then headed to the local DQ for dessert… that is VERY townie, if you ask me. And just as a side note, the DQ in Rich-Rose (as the townies call our area) has the most poorly designed drive-thru in the world. But this is the best part: we took our DQ blizzards (which didn’t pass the upside-down test, by the way) and ate them in Brian’s truck in the parking lot of Oak Bend Hospital while we waited for emergency life-flight helicopters to fly in. Why, you ask? Because there was nothing better to do. And in case you were wondering, no, we didn’t see any.

On Saturday we went to the Houston Rodeo (like all locals do at this time of year) and watched Brad Paisley in concert. It was a good show, but more importantly, we got to watch the actual rodeo events in their entirety. Nothing makes you feel like a true Texan quite like watching a rodeo. On our way home, we stopped at Annie’s Hamburgers for dinner, which is essentially some old school Houston hamburger joint that Brian has been going to since he was a wee little tot. Their extensive menu consisted of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, French fries, and onion rings. The food was good, but more importantly, it was cheap!

Sunday morning was spent at church (hooray for Palm Sunday) and then breakfast at Larry’s (Brian’s all-time favorite Mexican food restaurant) with Brian’s family. Something you should know about Larry’s: If you live in Rich-Rose, you either hate it, or you love it. And I have learned that the issue can be somewhat divisive amongst the locals. I joined in with Shannon (Brian’s sis) for a long time in joking that they use cat meat, but I must admit that I have become a fan of their quesadillas, so I am therefore now a supporter of Larry’s.

We then hit up the Rosenberg Wal-mart to do a little grocery shopping (and watch some parents scream at their children). And then just before Brian had to go to youth group for the day/evening, we headed to Sonic for Happy Hour and enjoyed our drinks (cherry slush for me, vanilla DP for him) while sitting on the tailgate of Brian’s truck in our driveway, just watching the neighbors cruise on by. Good times, good times.

Now if that’s not a townie weekend, I don’t know what is. And I am going to throw out a Richmond fun fact for your reading pleasure:

Lamar Consolidated High School (in Richmond) won the 4A Texas state football championship title in Fall of 2007! What’s even more fun is that LCHS (thanks for clarifying, Beth!) isn’t far from where we live, and we can hear their football games from our house!

Friday, March 14, 2008

I should stop reading the news

Ok seriously? I am going to blame today’s rant on the fact that I have had a lot of free time to read the news lately. I am sure you have all heard about Eliot Spitzer, the NY governor who resigned because he was involved in a prostitution ring. The fact that he was involved in a prostitution ring alone is pretty absurd, but sadly after the excellent example set by Bill Clinton, that does not exactly come as shocking news anymore.

What is somewhat shocking to me, however, is the ridiculous side stories that are spinning off of it. I have been reading articles about whether or not his wife should leave him (as if that is up to us, and as if she needs other people making this decision for her). All of these empowered feminist crazies are talking about how she should “take the money and run” and not look back. Let’s pause for a moment and remember that (a) there are 3 children involved, (b) maybe she loves her husband and wants to work it out, oh and (c) it is none of your business.

However, the story that prompted me to write this blog is concerning Kristen, or whatever the prostitute’s real name is. Apparently she has a myspace like everyone else in the world. And apparently she is some melodramatic whiney type who wants to be an artist, like 90% of the people on myspace. Well now that she has become famous (might I remind you it’s for being a PROSTITUTE THAT SLEPT WITH A MARRIED GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL? Yeah, props to you, Kristen), everyone wants a piece of the pie. She has songs on myspace that are being played on the radio, and a publisher wants to use her story for a book. I’ll go ahead and sum up that plot line for you:

“Hi, my fake name is Kristen. I had a hard life, and because the only way to make myself feel better about my hard life was to sleep with men for money, I decided to do just that and become a prostitute. I had the good fortune of having a famous client, and because he got caught, I am now going to be famous. Now I sing crappy songs and pose for men’s magazines. The end.”

Wow, great story.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Have you hugged your Registered Dietitian today?

In case you weren’t aware, yesterday (3/10) was the first annual Registered Dietitian Day! Exciting, I know. While this doesn’t affect me as profoundly and personally as National Cereal Day, this special day does affect a dear friend of mine, so it is certainly worth mentioning. At this time I’d like to give a shout out to Miss Beth Cavender, the greatest Registered Dietitian that I know (and the only one, for that matter:o).

Beth and I met when she joined me in the intern program with the student ministry at WHPC back in August 2005. We spent a year together attempting to stay sane and not kill any of the kids or our co-workers (or each other) while we learned the ins and outs of youth ministry. We have been great buddies ever since, especially now that I have relocated to Richmond/Rosenberg (her old stomping ground). We are even in a Bible Study that meets together on Monday nights, so I get to see her smiling face on a weekly basis, if not more!

Anyway, Beth is currently a dietitian for a nursing home (Beth, correct me if this is false). My favorite thing about this Registered Dietitian friend of mine is that she is not a food nazi. While she will happily spout out all of the nutritional information for a food I’m eating if I ask her to, she never does it without being first prompted. And forgive me for incriminating you here, Beth, but when we were interns and I would daily inhale the ever-present supply of M&M’s on Treb’s desk, she never scolded me, and often joined in on the shameless candy eating.

So here’s to you, Registered Dietitians! Cheers!

To all my readers: if any of you have a national holiday in honor of your career (or if you just really want me to blog about you), please let me know and I’ll be happy to whip something up! Happy Tuesday!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Two posts in one day... lucky you!

So we took Buster to the vet and he is officially a member of the Joiner family now! He is much younger than we realized- only 4 months old... just a little pup! We understand now why he whimpers so much and relieves himself in the house so often. Looks like we will have our hands full :)

Anyway, here are some of the pics of Buster and Noah that we took, plus one at the end of their proud parents :) Enjoy!










All hail the mighty Raisin Bran!

If you want to make your husband look good, get a dog. Seriously. Anything “bad” that your husband does will seem much less awful in comparison to the dog’s bad habits. For example, Brian has picked up a wonderful habit of forgetting to turn the shower faucet off, so any time I go to turn on the water, I am sprayed from overhead with a not-so-delightful splash of cold water. While this is exceedingly frustrating, it is nothing compared to the frustration that builds within me upon finding a pile of dog feces (I know I could have used “poop” here, but I think “feces” adds more of a dramatic effect) on our nice hall rug. And while Brian might have bad morning breath, nothing clears the room quite like the rancid stench of gas produced by a dog.

I have learned that such are the joys of having dogs! Don’t get me wrong, I love Noah, and am learning to love Buster (our new addition), but they are patience-testing companions to say the least. But while they do provoke me to anger more than once daily, they also provide a lot of amusement in our house. They love to wrestle in the backyard (the ambiguously gay duo, as I call them), chase each other around the dining room table (often with one dog’s teeth clamped on to the other dog’s tail), and battle for our attention. Buster is still very emotional and needy and cries ALL THE TIME, but he is sweet and becoming more secure in his role in the Joiner family.

Enough about the pups though (I will try to remember to post the pics we recently took of them when I’m on my home computer). I am thankful that Friday has arrived and excited about another weekend, even though we really don’t have anything planned. In case you are living in Texas, you, too, are probably aware of the random winter blast that recently came upon us. A lot of people are complaining and insisting that March means it’s time for warm weather, but I am thinking of the summer heat that awaits us in just a few short months and as a result, welcome any cold weather that will delay that. It is interesting, however, that I was laying out in my backyard in a short-sleeved t-shirt and shorts 2 weeks ago, and today I am bundled up in a turtleneck sweater. Nothing beats that Texas weather, right?

In townie news, Brittany and Chris joined us in last weekend’s attempt to be townies. We tried out a local Italian restaurant that was about the size of my old dorm room. Ok it was bigger than that, but not by much. It was very quaint and the food was pretty tasty, but in true local restaurant fashion, the service was painfully slow and the waiter was painfully impolite. Don’t worry though, it won’t deter us from pressing on to pursue our townie goals. We must always remember: WWTD (What would townies do?). Who knows, maybe this weekend we’ll hit up Jaime’s Dairy Treat and spend a little time perusing one of the 8 million local Dollar Trees?

I found out via msn.com that today is National Cereal Day (bet you were wondering about the title of my post until now!), isn’t that exciting? I wish I had found out earlier, though, so I could have paid a little extra attention to my bowl of Raisin Bran before shoving it down my throat. And apparently, tomorrow is National Peanut Cluster Day… who knew?