Archive for February, 2004

smart cookie

February 26, 2004

“Romance will blossom at the weekend.
Thought for today: Nothing is beautiful at all times and all angles.”

Helping Bill pack up his stuff to move offices ready for tomorrow.

In the black, a mystery out of the dark, a problem to be solved and a friggin’ cold house

February 26, 2004

Back at home last night after pulling a late shift at work Bill and I were trying to snuggle up and watch Grosse Point Blank on an interference ridden scratchy tv screen, chugging back beers (well, that was me, Bill doesn’t chug), attempting to ignore the dog, who was standing guard over the heating grate again being generally dippy, and tuning out the howl of the wind outside when *zunk* out went the power plunging us into darkness. The tv abruptly died in a sizzle of John Cusack and Minnie Driver and all should have been silence. A voice could however be heard talking for seconds after we should have had quiet, this was rather freaky; until reason told us that it was the answer phone’s last slurred reset message before it passed on.

Hmmm. We sat in the darkness until it was clear that this was to be an extended state of affairs and that we could really do with finding the torch and some candles. Of course, candles had been moved from their convenient emergency location in the useful things drawer to make way for nice shiny wedding present kitchen implements. Drat. Some hard thinking and fumbling later two fat orange halloween pumpkin candles were retrieved from Quince’s dog biscuit tin, of course. Still, at least whoever put them there was good enough to stow the matches in the same place.

Soon we were lit by the soft glow of flickering candlelight and worriedly looking out the window at the creaking trees, swirling newspapers and roaming rubbish bins wondering, hoping, that Ginger Dog (who I forgot to mention we hadn’t seen since Christmas, but has been gracing our front yard again this week) was somewhere nice and warm and that maybe the neighbours had pulled him in from the street to keep him safe. Bill and I buckled and did do a quick scout of the road just in case he was out in the storm but could find no hair or tail of his gingeness, hope that’s a good sign.

Bill also decided that he ought to move the truck from beneath the trees as branches were falling very frequently last night and we’ve had some huge branches fall down onto the drive before, luckily while Bill and his vehicle have been out and about. I came outside, huddled in my my nice big Manchester coat that everyone laughs at because I couldn’t possibly need such a coat in Georgia, and watched as he backed the truck out to the road, parked up on the front yard, reversed a bit, pulled forward a bit, backed back out on to the road, and finally parked back where he had started, albeit facing the opposite direction! Everywhere is a falling debris hazard! Trees, telegraph poles, swinging cables and wires blanket the house. Sod’s law says that it really didn’t matter where the truck was parked, if a branch was going to fall, on the truck it would plummet. *fingers crossed that doesn’t happen*

Back in the house we closed all the doors, and drew the blinds in an attempt to keep the heat in and snuggled back up together on the couch, watching the flames and listening to the harsh weather outside. Quince kept on watching the heating grate and pacing around. Half planned to stay in the front room but eventually decided to brave the chill of the bedroom and crawl beneath the icy covers.

Woke up this morning to a frosty bedroom, Quince whining, and Bill leaping out of bed screaming “Shit! There’s a cat in the house!” and then “…omigod it’s cold!” as his feet hit the floor. He’d been awoken by a yowling inside the cottage. On investigation and a rethink of Quince’s recent behaviour, it seems we may well have an animal stuck in our heating ducts below the floor. Quincy mystery solved. Though, we have no idea what to do about this. Not sure what sort of an animal it is either, though a cat does seem to be the best bet judging from the sounds Bill heard, and we are fervently praying that it doesn’t turn out to be a possum or squirrels. Ugh AND this also solves the mystery of why we kept thinking we could smell whisps of cat pee and thought we were just imagining it (I declined to mention this before for reasons of taste and decency) AND probably means that the lettuce I found by the door of the crawl space was not in all likelihood planted there by Quincy! Oh dear, we’ve got problems.

The power was still off, an icy Bill climbed back into bed and from there it took us a while to extracate ourselves and get up due to savouring the warmth within its boundaries, the heat made especially luxurious in contrast to the temperature millimetres above the covers. Oh, and when we did make it into our stiff crispy jeans and peeked outside we were greeted, not by the high winds and driving rain I was expecting, but by a fresh white tinted world. Ooooh snow! Not quite a polar vision, rather slushy and icy and quickly meltly into streams of water, but snow nonetheless.

Considering the alarm clocks were out, and the length of time we had to spend bracing ourselves to run to the bathroom, it’s amazing that we made it to Bill’s work dead on time this morning. Which is where I am now, being oh so productive as usual.

very fat pancake day

February 25, 2004

Hoorah! Pancake Day was yesterday and indeed we ate pancakes even though I had to explain to Bill what all the madness was about. Good job that no one here seems to celebrate Pancake Day as that meant the supermarket was still stocked with lemons at 7pm. Bill couldn’t bring himself to have sugar and lemons so I relented and allowed him his maple syrup. We even ate at our table for once too. A very nice Pancake Day.

Didn’t go into BrightHouse until lunchtime again today, so spent the morning snoozing and reading a book. Also made Bill and I a tasty lentil moussaka for when he came home for lunch. Decided to top it with mashed sweet potato and was very impressed with the result.

Spent the afternoon at BrightHouse getting sad, fed up and frustrated. Didn’t go to Tang Soo Do as a result. It sucked on Friday anyway and at one point I almost walked out of class so really couldn’t be bothered yesterday at all. Pancakes and a walk around the block with Quince cheered me up though.

Oh, that, and the Beastie Boys video anthology DVD I ordered that arrived in the mail yesterday. Hoorah for Ebay. Sat down with Bill and watched the first disc last night.

Stayed in bed again this morning as I couldn’t face a whole day at the office being useless. Quince was very odd all morning, he would not settle (usually he just snuggles up in the bed with me) and kept pacing the house. He also keeps standing over the heating grate in the hallway floor and staring into it. Doesn’t bark or make a noise though, just stares. Weird. He was totally creeping me out, especially when I kept hearing strange noises; a banging in the spare room for example. That had me racing around the house checking the security, I think though it must have just been the bad weather or a branch falling onto the house. Anyway, strange dog.

Bill came home for lunch and we finished off the last of the moussaka, and now I’m back in the office pootling around. Spent most of the afternoon messing around trying to battle a Trojan on the PC. Dammit. I do hope I’ve thrashed it this time, delved into the registry again and I’m optomistic that I’ve cleansed my baby now. I had to eradicate several last week and since then the virus checker hadn’t picked anything up, until today when it went completely haywire again.

no longer Vile

February 23, 2004

This last week Bill lost his Yahoo! ID.

It’s very upsetting.

Someone seems to have got into his account and changed his password.

I noticed something was up when Vilehelm signed into Yahoo! Messenger with the status message (I’m mobile) when Bill wasn’t at his computer. The next time he tried to log in he got error messages and despite writing to Yahoo! has not been able to get back into his account. I don’t think Yahoo! have even properly replied to him. They did ask him to verify the personal info he submitted when he created the account but Bill did this back in 1999 and now either can’t remember all the details requested or thinks he was paranoid at the time and put bumpf in instead. Still, since Bill replied to their request he has heard nothing and I think Yahoo! should at least get back to him.

Not at all impressed with Yahoo! and even less impressed by whoever has taken Bill’s id. Jerk.

February 23, 2004

Lessee, what did we get up to this weekend? Uhm…Saturday was a gorgeous day so we drove over to Candler Park and took the dog for a long walk. We followed the bike trail across to Little Five Points, up over to Inman Park (via Zesto’s for a cool milkshake) and back to Little Five to drop in on the StarBar.

Jim was there with his mop and amusing tales of one of his old dogs who was completely mad and liked to eat lightbulbs and whole packets of staples. Jim ploughed through a huge bag of McDonalds and lucky Quince got in on the action too. He was astounded to receive an ashtray full of fries from his Uncle Jim and almost couldn’t believe his good fortune. Bill, however, couldn’t believe his dog had just been fed an entire dish of chips and wondered what said dog’s bottom would be like later.

We hung out there for a bit before walking a tired dog back to the truck. We passed a little independent bookstore that was having a closing down sale along the way and took it in turns to look after Quince or browse inside and Bill managed to pick up a couple of bargains.

Back at the house I did some work on the StarBar site as it had got all screwy again. Having tightened it back up I passed out for a little while before going back down to the StarBar to synchronise the online files with the files on Dave’s computer. We had a few bevvys and watched Jim & Joel get ready for their show at Nine Lives before deciding we were rather hungry. Decided to treat Bill to a curry at a place down the road. Still haven’t found a great curry house over here, but that meal wasn’t too bad. The hunt for a decent curry continues. Had a nice time out regardless. It’s just nice to have a proper sit down meal like that every once in a while. Although we find ourselves eating out fairly often it’s pretty rare to find us sitting down and having a restaurant meal together, so that was very welcome.

Returned home to veg out, snuggle and watch the first installment of the special edition box set The Fellowship of The Ring that Bill had borrowed from Jim earlier.

Once again we failed to make it to the gym on the Sunday but at least we had a fairly productive day. We took the mountain of recyling over to the Farmer’s Market and bought lots of nice tasty nutritious veggies which were later marinaded and prepared for the grill. We worked hard and cleared more of the leaves from the front yard and made headway on getting part of the yard cleaned up ready for planting, and then rewarded ourselves by pulling out the BBQ grill again and cooking up some delicious nosh. Mmmm.

Watched the rest of The Fellowship of the Ring and some of the special features. Bill watched a lot more than I did I think, I remember he was still up watching them when I put myself to bed. 😀

Ping pong

February 23, 2004

Last Monday after Bill finished work we picked up the dog and headed over to Dac’s for ping pong (he was having a bachelor night as Elizabeth was away). He has a table in his garage, and Bill is a sucker for a game of ping pong. Quince got put into the back yard to play with Augustus and Tennessee and we ordered pizza and played some matches. Bill showed me how to play (I don’t think a couple of lessons I had while at school really count as having played before, especially as the majority of the lesson involved wheeling the tables out and setting them up in the assembly hall, standing still while the PE Teacher admonished a couple of the boys for messing around and then folding them up and putting the tables away again, fun) and we had a few practice games before Jeff and his friend also arrived.

The garage was a little cramped so we had to play around a lawnmower, a pair of bikes, numerous boxes and tools, and even allowed the ball to play off the roof, but it was good fun. I think Quincy enjoyed the run around he had with Dac’s dogs too. Not happy that I lost every game I played. Grrrrr.

Valentine’s Day

February 23, 2004

Woke up next to a snuggly Bill all eager to give him his Valentine’s Day pressie. Unfortunately though I was far too sleepy, couldn’t move and promptly fell back to sleep again. Oops. A few hours later I awoke to an empty space next to me and the sound of Bill playing on the XBox in the front room. Coaxed a grumpy Billl into the bedroom under the pretext of wanting Valentine Day cuddles and surprised him with my gift which was cunningly hidden underneath the bed.

He then understood why the night before I’d been so determined to put my sleepy hubby to bed and stay up late watching crap TV. I was actually being crafty, his pressie was in the mail box and I had to sneak out to get it under cover of darkness. I’d also spent the entire week jumping out the truck and checking the mail as soon as we got home in case the package had arrived. When it did I’d had to leave it in the mail box and connive to pick it up without suspicion later. So, when he was asleep (I waited half an hour or so just to make sure) I snuck out, retrieved the parcel and did my best to wrap it up without any sellotape.

Thus a very taken aback Bill got his Porco Rosso (Studio Ghibli animated film concerning a flying pig) DVD and raced into the front room, Kay in tow, to immediately watch it.
Happy Valentine’s Day babe!

After that very pleasant morning I somehow managed to persuade Bill to take me shopping, I was worried as we were planning to go out that night and I felt uncomfortable as I didn’t really have anything to wear. He took me to TJMaxx where he hid in the Toys R Us downstairs while I found a really cute Dollhouse skirt and a Miss Sixty Chinese style wrap skirt, though neither really what I was looking for and I’m not sure how I’m going to wear the Miss Sixty skirt. I’ll need inspiration on that one, but I’m sure it will come.

Lenox Mall came next and Bill even let me into some clothes shops there too, though again he disappeared off somewhere while I browsed!! I ended up buying a couple of very pretty boldly patterned floral garments which are very “fruits”esque I suppose. Yay!! New clothes for a Kay! Felt much better.

AND!! We had a peek into Crate and Barrel where Bill found me an egg cup!! Hoorah!

Yikes! Lost we totally track of time in the mall, particularly in Urban Outfitters, and before we knew it we were only 40 mins away from our evening dinner reservation. Hurriedly raced back to the house, showered, changed, tarted up in my new clothes and headed over to the Thai restaurant in East Atlanta for a Valentine’s Day meal. Had a really nice three course meal. For the entree Bill had sashimi and I had the veggie sushi. Both of which were huge portions that came served in a large boat of a dish. Bill ploughed through his, I only made it halfway through mine and had to ask for a doggy bag (which was great at 3 in the morning when we got back to the house and I had a feast awaiting me!).

Had a really good time and left with a very full and happy tummy (though I was worried about Bill for a bit as straight after eating he dashed off to the men’s room and left me being all concerned that the sashimi hadn’t agreed with him! The bill came while he was away so I paid, convinced he was suffering food poisoning I neglected to tip. When Bill emerged he was fine, I’d been completely paranoid and he had to fish out some notes and leave the tip separately. Oops *blush*)

Good job he did really as at our next destination (the StarBar, of course) our waitress showed up, recognised us and said hello! She was a bit strange though. She kept coming up to us, looking as if she was struggling to say something and then wandering off again. Odd.

So, the evening ended in an alcohol fuelled buzz at the StarBar, to the noise of Gargantua (a Bill fave, who really weren’t half bad). Had a very good night.


February 13, 2004

Just had a big shock, my Dad sent me this out of the blue. We made it into the Tavistock Times this week!!! (Particularly love the advert beneath us – genius)

Valentine’s Sing-A-Gram

February 13, 2004

We all just got called over to the other building to witness one of the BrightHouse guys receiving a Valentine’s Sing-A-Gram from his fella. Everyone was all stood around watching as the poor guy got called out to the front. He was beetroot red, his face matched the tops the four sing-a-gram girls were wearing. They handed him a Valentine’s Card and a heart shaped box of chocolates, and he had to be given some Kleenex to go with it. The ladies then started singing a little number but were reduced to laughter when Rick’s dog Bonnie joined in with some well timed barks and howls. Bon Bon got removed from the room and they tried again. It was all very sweet.

National Grain

February 13, 2004

Bill hauled himself out of bed at silly o’clock yesterday and went into work. He had to fix something on one of the projects he’s been working on and work hard to get it finished and Fed Exed out that day. Just an annoying silly problem with the screen dimensions and viewable area on a widescreen monitor that was messing up the cool After Effects animation he had produced for a client. Very frustrating and a bit of a downer after the high of getting accolades for the work. Still, should be sorted and good to go now…go Bill!

This meant that I got to stay in bed and have a good morning snooze for once, hoorah. Missed Bill and was very bored for the rest of the day though. Our PC is sat at his work so I could only pootle about on the Mac and frittered my time away pointlessly as usual.

Bill made it home to take me to cardio kick class which was fun as always, and nicely tiring. At the end of class I asked the instructor about his martial arts classes and his description of what he teaches and how they go about it sounded really attractive, much more organised and professional. He doesn’t follow a traditional martial arts programme but instead take aspects of Ju Jitsu, Tae Kwan Do, Wrestling, Boxing and other styles and works them together. In cardio kick I’d liked the way he makes certain that everyone warms up, stretches and breathes efficiently and creates a thorough work out and it’s clear he is insistant on this in martial arts too. As much as that stuff is boring it’s vital and I respect an instructor who makes sure that everyone isn’t just training, but training safely. He said he’d give me the first lesson free if I wanted to try it out. However, when I got home and did a search on the net to find out exactly where it was it turns out his “just up the road” is an American “just up the road” and not a British one. It’s bloody miles away! Almost up by Stone Mountain. So that’s not really an option then. Rats.

Watched The Apprentice with Bill, who half watched and half paced around the room. These reality TV shows get him so worked up, and this is one he actually likes and wants to watch! Wanted Omarosa to get fired, she is such an obnoxious woman. It’s certainly interesting seeing the conversations Donald Trump has regarding who to fire and what he bases his decision on. For the second week running he fired a lady who did nothing significantly wrong in the assigned task but chose to say nothing when Omarosa was rude and personally attacked her. Mr Trump said he would have fired Omarosa but had no choice but to get rid of Jesse for having no backbone and not standing up to Omarosa. That’s a tough one. I think most people are brought up to be at least outwardly polite and avoid being confrontational when you are trying to impress someone. Especially when going for an interview, it seems wrong and undesirable to have a dispute in front of someone you are trying to be professional and balanced in front of. I’d feel like you’d want to sort out these matters without an audience to avoid coming across the wrong way. However, the lesson learned from The Apprentice is that not arguing can be a weakness.

Show over we raced across to The Earl to see Ben’s band National Grain play. Not really my cup o’ tea but entertaining none the less. A whole crowd from BrightHouse turned up to support him and we had a good time. However, the most entertaining moment of the night was not provided by Ben but by Julie (?) who approached our table, full glass of white wine in hand and made to sit down. She stepped over a perfectly good seat, aimed for the empty space next to it and ended up with her bum on the floor, legs in the air, startled expression on face, and her wine showering the table. Classy! Apparently she’d thought there was a bench made of thin air.

We left the bar around 1am and back at the house Quince and I crawled straight into bed while Bill was a complete nutcase and turned the XBox on. I have no idea when he joined me under the duvet. Loon!