Because I need another way to waste time on the internet....

I have a new addiction: Blogtations

Here are just a few of my favorites (and new blogs to check out - I'm reading through and loving):

People think I'm drunk even when I'm dead sober because I'm filterless and stupid and fall a lot and so I basically have what I call "the three-drink handicap". Everyone else in the world after 3 cocktails = me just waking up.

-The Bloggess

(oh, so true)

Have you ever been at work, enjoying a nice snack of animal crackers while returning emails, finishing super fun reports, etc when you drop one of the crackers down into your cleavage? And then you push back your head to see how deep the little monkey has fallen, then pull your shirt from your chest and reach into to the depths to retrieve it? And then a new faculty member pops into your office to learn about health insurance options while your hand is very conspicuously rooting around between your boobs? Awesome.


(this has happened to me (not necessarily with animal crackers) more times than i care to remember)

As a teen, I dreamed of being a bodiless brain in a jar. A smart, artistically inclined, physically awkward young woman, I shied away from anything that made me think about myself in terms of body. I hid in my loose, formless clothes, refused makeup, and let my hair remain unruly. I looked a little like a hobo, albeit one with excellent oral hygiene.

-Already Pretty

Have you noticed that the things we want to take notice of are almost always yellow (like school buses and post-it notes)? Single women should wear more yellow shirts.

-Pickled Beef

(duly noted)

I have a feeling I'll be visiting there again...a lot.


'No, those are NOT my Magnum condoms' (or, why I will never use U-Scan again)

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the girl to get easily embarrassed.
Fall off a table while dancing? Check. (and I was sober!)
Puke on a fire hydrant while hungover? Check. (no, I'm not proud)
Accidentally tell a [ex]co-worker about the sex dream they played a large role in? Double check. (alcohol was possibly involved)
Fart in mixed company? Many, many, many checks.
Sing inappropriate songs of the 90s in front of coworkers? Too many times to count. (and sadly, no, alcohol was not ALWAYS involved)

So yes, been there. Done that. Laughed about it afterwards. Sometimes for years, because some of those stories just won't die....

But until tonight, I have never know true mortification.

It starts out simply, and innocently, enough. I stopped at Meijer on the way home to pick up some fruit, a few Lean Cuisines, diet soda, some hair smoothing crap.

Looking at the two lanes that were actually open, and twelve people deep each, I decided to just skip to the U-Scan. This isn't unusual, as unless I am doing one of my semi-annual large shopping trips, I usually opt for the 'quicker' route.

Today though...oh no. Not today.

I waited patiently in line, and when the man in front of me had grabbed his bags and left, I moseyed on up to the scanner, and proceeded to scan my eleven or so items, bagging them as I went. I was impressed with myself because at this point, my trip had only taken me 15 minutes, and $30, and this is very unusual for me. Anywhere.

After I signed the little card reader that would make John Hancock's signature look like it was scrawled by a monkey with no thumb, I loaded my few bags into my tiny cart (yes, I know, I had four bags, but anytime I don't use one, I inevitably rip at least two bags, and end up losing a jar of pickles or a gallon of milk to the parking lot) and headed for the door.

Nothing spectacular, right?

As soon as I pushed my cart through the exit, the alarm goes off. Naturally, I stopped right in the middle of the door, confused as to what this loud noise was, and why a man in a red shirt was waving at me to come back.

Figuring the only interesting thing they would find would be that I had already scarfed down a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in the time I waited in line (read: 2 seconds), I turned around, and when man in red shirt asked if I minded waiting for the manager, I assured him that was fine. And when said manager (let's call him Steve - that's a bad name for me, and this was NOT a fun experience) came up to the front, and asked if I minded him looking through my grocery bags, I agreed once again. I handed him my receipt and stood back, assuming it was my MP3 player or cell phone that set off the alarm, as they are wont to do.

So imagine my complete and utter surprise when Steve pulls out a box of Trojan Magnum-XL condoms, and asks if I was planning on paying for them.....

I'm pretty sure my jaw is still recovering from hitting itself on the floor.

Confused, but still trying not to laugh, I told Steve that I hadn't been down that aisle - to be honest, I don't even know which aisle that is. In my nervousness, I am sure I gave that poor man waaaay too much information about my lack of the sex. In turn, I maybe just gave all you readers too much information as well, but that's neither here nor there.

At this point, Steve has turned as red as red shirt guy's red shirt. I'm pretty sure I had totally slipped into nervous laughter and stuttering, as I tried to explain that I definitely did not 'accidentally' throw those in my bag.

Red shirt guy is standing to the side, continuing to help the inept people trying to scan their groceries, and comes up with the brilliant (seriously, he was smarter than Steve - someone needs a raise and promotion) idea of looking at the receipt log, to see if maybe a customer before me had paid for them, bagged them, and accidentally left them.

Turns out, it was the guy before me.

Many many years back, I dated a boy (we were young, back then) who was well over 6 feet tall, and probably 120 pounds soaking wet.

The guy in front of me? Could have been his double. If you subtracted about a foot, leaving him a few inches shorter than myself. Add in a soul patch and a creepy thin mustache, take off about 10 pounds. Douse in Polo Sport (delicious smell, but really guys? Moderation? Is key.)

Manager Steve now feels bad for essentially accusing me of shoplifting enormous condoms. They've been paid for. Creepy little man has probably left the parking lot at this point. So what is the natural course of action?

Obviously, offer the tomato-faced girl who has just bemoaned her lack of a man-friend a free pack of Magnum-XLs. That'll make her feel SO much better. And definitely less humiliated.

I politely declined, but it seemed like Steve was insisting. For one crazy moment, I figured I could just hand them off to a friend that might find them useful.

Then I realized -- I can easily live the rest of my life without knowing which of my friends (or their lovahs) require extra-large condoms. I'm pretty sure it would always be creeping up in the back of my mind - 'Hi Jane, this is my friend John Doe. He needs MAGNUM-XLs! Lucky you!! Woot woot!'

No thanks. That's just information I should never encounter.

Luckily, or perhaps unluckily, before I could once again refuse, Creepy Little Guy from before ran in, sweating, and blew right past Steve and I, checked the empty scanner/bagging area that we had previously shared, and then turned to Red Shirt: 'Um, I think...I mean, I know...I left a bag...I bought some things...and forgot them. And I really need...my things. Did someone find them?'

Red Shirt pointed him in our direction, and Steve quietly said to me 'Sorry for the hassle...have a nice night' as he swiftly grabbed the box out of my bag, ran it over the sensor deactivator, put it in an empty bag, and handed it over to CLG.

At this point, I was already hightailing it out of the store so I wouldn't start laughing so hysterically that I peed myself, but had to step aside as CLG ran past me yet again, then proceeded to stop, turn, and say 'Hate to run outta these!' followed by a wink.

I got in my car and laughed for a good ten minutes before I felt sane enough to drive home.

So, summary?

Groceries - $30
Time shopping/in line - 16 minutes
Time spent with a rogue box of condoms - 20 minutes
Leaving your dignity somewhere between the 1 penny pony rides, and bags of charcoal - Priceless


even when you think you're right you have to give to take....

I've made a lot of bad choices in my life. I mean, A LOT.
Some of them have turned out worse than others. Some at least taught me something in the process.

I've made a lot of hard decisions as well -- things that at the time seemed like the biggest problem I would ever face. Things that, looking back, caused me a lot of stress and heartache when they should've been gut reactions.

Tonight I'm looking back on one thing in particular. A choice I made that nearly killed me at the time. A choice that I agonized over and cried over more nights than I care to remember. A choice that I now know was the right thing to do, the necessary thing to do. But I can't help wondering what my life would be like right now if I had chosen the other path -- the road more traveled, so to speak.

Would I be happier? Would I be more settled, more grounded? Would I be living the so-called American Dream of a husband, a child, a dog, a mortgage? Would I think my life was as close to perfect as reality gets?

Or would I be yearning for a way out? Would I be thinking that maybe I settled for less than I wanted? Would I wish I had waited til I was older, more mature, more experienced with life in general?

In my heart and soul, I know that choice was what I wanted at the time. And I know that I'm fine with my life as it is now -- maybe not as deliriously happy as I would hope, maybe a little lonelier, but still....I'm in a good place for the most part.

I am a happily independent and marginally successful woman. At some point, I plan on being much more successful, but for my age and for lack of degree, I have a career that both challenges and rewards me on a regular basis, that I also happen to love. I'm going back to school so I can advance, and improve myself. Most importantly, I have family and friends that would walk through fire for me, and know that I would do the same for them.

And I'll take a little bit of loneliness in exchange for that any day.

I know I made the right decision.

But sometimes...sometimes you just have to wonder, what if?


your mom goes to college....

ok, maybe not.

but i do!!!

or at least, i will be, starting in january.

i heard back from eastern today, and i have been accepted as a transfer student starting winter semester 2009!

i'm very excited, and very happy, but definitely nervous.

i think my life/work experiences the last few years have prepared me for this next step. i wasn't ready the first couple times around, but now i am.

i'm going for a business degree in marketing/advertising.

still have to figure out how i'm going to do this, while still working full time, and get financial aid set, but regardless...i'm going back to school!!

so, essentially, after january, don't expect to see me out and about too much. i'm going to be a busy busy girl!!


It's only forever, not long at all...

Yesterday, the world was spinning...or maybe it was just me.

Today, I fell out of bed because I couldn't focus on anything.

Went to the doctor, because I decided neither of those things was good...

Turns out I have Labyrinthitis (inner ear infection)

Is it bad that when the doctor told me that, I started quoting lines from the wonderful David Bowie movie?

Jareth: You remind me of the babe.
Goblin: What babe?
J: The babe with the power.
G: What power?
J: The power of voodoo.
G: Who do?
J: You do.
G: Do what?
J: Remind me of the babe.

What can I say? I'm a child of the 80s...


once again, idea stolen from Unmitigated, and courtesy of wordle


staying up all night to write a love song for no one...

There's a section of road that I used to drive at least once or twice a week...5 Mile, in between Hines Drive and Sheldon Rd. Something about going up a curved hill, surrounded by trees, getting to the top and seeing the old St John's Seminary at the top brought me a peace that I don't even know how to explain.

I made that drive tonight.
The trees are mostly gone...cut down in favor of giant new homes, hotels, and strip malls. Even the old seminary barely resembles its former self, with the addition of St John's Inn.
The soul cleansing I used to get from the sight of the clocktower was gone, replaced by a sense of emptiness....of losing something that I had almost forgotten.

All these places of my past have changed so much. Have disappeared so completely that I almost think they were just...smoke. Wisps pulled from some idealistic place in my imagination.

Was I really as free as I remember? Was I as happy? Is the girl I was then...idealistic, optimistic, romantic...gone for good? I've become so much more cynical as the years have worn on, and I miss the naivete I used to be embarrassed by.

I miss having a place that felt like home. I miss my family more than I can say. I miss my best friend being five minutes away. I miss believing in something bigger than myself.

I've felt so lonely lately...never more so than tonight, alone in my car, listening to sad songs and trying to decide if I could be bothered to find something to do. Feeling like everyone I know is rapidly pairing off, settling down, and I'm left in the dust, looking around, wondering how I'm the only one left alone. Wondering why every inkling of a relationship the last several years just leaves me more and more broken.

I've built myself up as a strong, successful, independent woman. There's not much that frightens me, and there's not a thing I don't believe I could handle. But tonight....tonight I felt like the smallest person in the world, and I wondered if I would ever find that lightness I've been so desperately missing lately.

But still...I drove on...and on...into the fading light. And on a dirt road, somewhere in the 'country', I looked up into the sky, and saw how amazingly beautiful it was tonight, and breathed in the air rushing in my open window, and I started to feel whole again.


my world. in pictures.

idea taken from Unmitigated who got it from someone, who got it from someone else, etc etc etc...

1. Andrea [De firmitate manus], 2. Delicious, 3. Loose Ball, 4. 133: SOTTS will make you jump!, 5. jdmpeopledesk1058, 6. 1650 Captain Morgan 30 El Dorados, 7. Bowfiddle Dawn, 8. mmmummm..mummm...mmmmummmmumumum, 9. I get a little closer every day, 10. 18 Grave of Octavia Dockery (1865 - April 22, 1949) "Mistress of Goat Castle" - Eccentric recluse and suspect in a brutal murder that made international headlines., 11. Luna House, 12. Anticipation

1. What is your first name? - Andrea
2. What is your favorite food? - Anything delicious
3. What high school did you attend? - livonia stevenson
4. What is your favorite color? - g reen and blue
5. Who is your celebrity crush? - jeffrey dean morgan
6. Favorite drink? - captain morgan
7. Dream vacation? - scotland and ireland
8. Favorite dessert? - ice cream
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? - growing up is overrated
10.What do you love most in life? - friends, family, and simple pleasures
11. One word to describe you. - eccentric
12. Your Flickr name (if you don't have one, be creative. - gatheringdust

Alligator really DOES taste like chicken...

Well, another softball season over. We had our first playoff game tonight, and it was also our last.

How fair is it that a team that is 7-4-2 (Mud Dawgs!!) plays a team that is 14-0 in the first round?

I just don't get it.

I kicked some butt in batting practice before the game, I'm not going to lie. Too bad I apparently got it out of my system pre-game.

I made it on base once. I did a little dance to celebrate, much to the delight of the few spectators, and probably all my team members.

So, we lost. 15-9, or something like that. But we did come back in the 5th inning (maybe 6th...not sure) from 15-0, so I'm proud of us. Can't wait til next year!

Afterwards, we did our usual postmortem of beer (Captain and Diet for me, thank you very much) and gossip in the parking lot. This time, however, we had a few of our bigwigs from work (wonderful people, really -- I can't tell you how much I love my job and the people I work for) and after a couple drinks, Bigwig #1 says "I'm buying...who wants to go to Mr Joe's for burgers and beer?"
Naturally, most of us join in a chorus of "Hell yea!"

Mr. Joe's was packed, so we ended up at Fishbones, which is a pretty fancy place -- not my first choice of places to go when I am sweaty and stinky and disgusting from playing softball, but I will never complain about free cocktails and dinner.

I've never eaten at FB before...but on the appetizer list, I noticed a dish called "Alligator Voodoo". Naturally, this intrigued me quite a bit. I decided to order it.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Alligator = DELICIOUS.

Free alligator = Even better.

And so, on that very high note, I close out this season of Mud Dawgs softball with a little bit of sadness, but mostly pride that my team did well, and I improved IMMENSELY from last year.

With that, I am off to bed. Take care, friends!


My day is about to improve significantly, assuming a 90% confidence interval

Oh, market research.

Let me preface this by saying that I love my job. I do. I rarely have actual complaints about it, just small things that drive me crazy. I make good money, especially for not having a degree, and my employers are fantastic people who honestly care about their employees. I get along well with my boss, and I know that I personally do an excellent job. I probably have it better than 95% of people when it comes to employment.

HOWEVER. If the next 11 minutes do not FLY by, I might go crazy. And that is not a long trip for me.

I have a ton of work to do, and normally I would have no problem staying late on a Friday to do it.But since I’ll be in here on Sunday, I figure I can leave on time, and meet up with some ex-coworkers for a dual retirement party at a bar in Waterford. That sounds like a much better way to spend my Friday night.

Some days more than others, making charts ceases to enthrall me.

an open letter to the undergarment industry....

[note: this is a couple of months old, but knowing a few of you who may see this, i think you will appreciate]

Dear Sports Bra Manufacturers (specifically Champion):

I am writing to tell you of the issues I have discovered with your products.
Please bear in mind as you read this the fact that I rarely have the need for a sports bra. I don't go to the gym more than once a year, I certainly only run if I'm being chased. My workout DVDs make great coasters.

However, it's softball season again. And running is necessary.

Last year I tried to start the season prepared. I went to several shops trying to find a sports bra that worked for me.

Now, I don't know about you or the size of your breasts, but I'm willing to bet that if you're designing these sports bras, you must be an A-cup.

Here are some concerns I have:

1 - I do not care if my breasts are lifted and separated. I would really just prefer that these things are strapped down as tight as possible. This prevents the issue of getting smacked in the face with a blob of fat while running, jumping, or breathing slightly heavy.

2 - The "convertible" straps? Who are you kidding? Those things do NOT stand up to a set of double-Ds bouncing during a brisk walk to 1st base. Last year I almost took my eye out. I'd prefer that didn't happen again.

3 - I fail to understand why if a woman is a A-B-or-C-cup, she gets her choice of bright colors, fun prints, and moisture wicking material, but if she is a D-cup or larger, she is stuck in some scary white contraption that looks to be straight out of a 1950's porn. Three inch straps and 6 hooks in the back? Not so comfortable.

4 - I did find one acceptable garment. It was comfortable, mostly confining, I was still able to breathe....
Unfortunately, it was $80!
Now, I'm sure I could get a similar effect by piling on 3 or 4 of the $8.99 Target brands...but really? Eighty dollars? That's almost a monthly payment on a Ford Focus! Is that really necessary?

Now, my friends in the intimates industry, I understand that it is difficult to cater to every woman's individual needs. I have to give you some props for even trying.

But when I take 15 sports bras into the dressing room, and have no luck, I start to question if it isn't an 18-year-old boy designing these things.

Because to be perfectly honest, I'm not really comfortable wearing something that doesn't keep my boobs from bouncing if I so much as turn my head.

So, my flat-chested friends, please remember these few things in the next round of designs - bouncing=bad, concussions from breasts gone awry=worse, and anything that looks like it belongs on an S&M loving nurse=unspeakably horrifying.

Perhaps next year I'll be able to find something to meet my needs.

Until then, I've got a roll of duct tape and a high pain tolerance.

Love til later,

mamma mia...here i go again...

i have to admit, i really never had a desire to see this movie. last week a couple of my girls and i went to see it, and i confess...i loved it. i laughed, i cried, i recoiled in horror from pierce brosnan's 007 abs gone soft...

for those of you who don't know the story...well, i'm not getting into it. it's midnight and i probably should get some sleep at some point, as i need to be mostly functional at work tomorrow. i'll summarize with the fact that there are 3 middle aged women in it, played by meryl streep, christine baranski, and julie walters. suffice to say, my friends and i immediately each identified with one of those, and could easily picture ourselves in 20 years.

julie walters (mrs. weasley!!!) played rosie. a clumsy, hermitlike writer, fiercly loyal to her friends, with a crazy and sarcastic sense of humor.

sound like anyone you guys know?

i guess i'll go with that over the woman who doesn't know who her daughter's father is out of the three possibilities, or the woman who has been married three times and seems about ready to make another move with a man less than half her age....

but if you notice me disappearing into a shell for days on end, well....kindly pull me out of that.
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