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Happy Halloween readers!  I don’t know about you, but I am super excited about getting all dressed up this weekend.  I have two costumes that I will be sporting.  The first one is for tonight and is based on Chun Li from the video game Street Fighter (I’m not a huge video game player, except when it comes to Rock Band and fighting games).  This is the first real costume I’ve purchased in a long time.  I just hope people know who I am!  My second costume is for mine and JD’s super awesome Halloween/birthday extravaganza, Spooktacular.  We are going as dead/zombie homecoming court members.  I’m really excited to make my face up in a totally disgusting manner!  Pictures to come on Monday!

Last night, JD and I finally lived up to the promise we’ve been making to ourselves about carving pumpkins.  We kept talking about it, but never went through with it.  We decided to stock up on supplies for Saturday’s party and get pumpkins to put our carving skills to the test.  Well, the first 2 stores we went to were completely out of pumpkins.  How do you sell out of pumpkins the day before Halloween?  Maybe it’s because we live in the city and not the burbs.  We finally found some pretty half-assed pumpkins at a 3rd store, so we stocked up.  And let me tell you, they were not your normal carving pumpkins.

First, we picked up a baggie (wasn’t big enough to be considered an actual bag) of 3 mini pumpkins.  They looked like they are meant to be centerpiece making items, but we figured we (and T) could each carve one.  Then we could set them on the table at our party as centerpieces.  🙂  We also decided to pick up some Cinderella pumpkins, the only larger variety that seemed to exist in Atlanta last night.

If you are like me, you have no idea what these special pumpkins look like, so I will show you some in their pre-carved state.

Aren’t they the cutest pumpkins ever?

Cinderella, dressed in yellow (or orange in this case).

As you can see, these are not your normal, bulbous carving pumpkins.  They are small and weirdly shaped, making for quite the interesting carving experience.  The only utensil that could cut through these bad boys was the little pumpkin carving saw from the kit.  I’m not even kidding!  Serrated bread knife…nope.  Butcher knife…nope.  Since they were so oddly shaped, we couldn’t use fancy carving patterns.  This left us with the free hand option which, resulted in very special looking pumpkins.

Aren’t they special?

All lit up!

Happy Halloween!

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I forgot how much negative campaign ads bother me until they start going into constant rotation, and everyday I’m told by one candidate how unqualified for a position his/her opponent is.  This really gets under my skin.  It also makes me feel like a person is not really qualified to hold any type of official position because all they can focus on is their opponent’s flaws.  Enough already.  I want to hear you discuss the way you will improve our government.  I don’t need you to tell me about other people’s mistakes and repeatedly bash them to try and get my vote.

There are specific commercials airing in Georgia for our US Senate candidates that have gotten out of control.  Both candidates drag each other through the mud, and the worst part is that some of their ads are misleading.  They take negative votes on past issues and turn them into scathing ads, but they leave out the details that clarify why the person voted that way in the first place.  It’s very misleading.

What scares me about this is that there are people out there who don’t really know much about politics and will go to vote, and they will let these smear campaigns be the reason they vote the way they do. Instead of doing research to find out where a candidate stands, they will latch onto the negative and make an uninformed decision.

Honestly, the mudslinging makes me not want to vote for either candidate.  Luckily I voted last week before the damn commercials aired every 2 minutes.  I also feel that the Republican candidate makes personal attacks on his Democratic challenger, which in my opinion, has no basis being brought up in a political campaign.  I don’t care about what goes on in their personal lives or what they did when they were in college.  I want to hear about the issues and how they will strive to better our sinking economy.  And if you are going to bring up past voting records, make sure you include all the facts.  Stop leaving out the information that explains why a particular vote was cast.

How do you feel about political attack ads and mudslinging?  Does it make you want to run out and vote?  Or not support either candidate?

I just told my boss that I am taking off December 22-30 to go to NY for Christmas to see T’s family.  Woot!  I’m excited.  I’m also hoping that she gives us the days between Christmas and New Year’s off again.  Last year it was awesome!

I just booked flights for the NY trip for T and I, and they only cost $439 for both tickets.  I am beyond stoked about this.  All the other tickets I’d looked into were around $300-350 per person!  That’s insane.  The only crappy thing about our tickets is that we have a layover on the way back.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there isn’t any bad weather.

This will be the first Christmas I haven’t spent with my immediate family.  I’m trying to convince them to go to NY so we can all celebrate together!

My Halloween costume came in the mail yesterday, and it’s slut-tastic.  It’s sooo short.  Gah, why are we always expected to be half-naked?  Hopefully I can find some leggings to wear under it so I feel more covered up and don’t freeze to death.

Woo-hoo, Halloween is almost here!  I can’t wait!  Now we just need to decide on what we’re doing.

I am in the process of updating these super boring excel sheets that outline our PR plans for our clients.  I have to make sure the 2008 ones are up to date and make sure all of the info I entered in for 2009 is accurate.  Gag!

One of my co-workers fractured her foot while I was on my honeymoon, about 2 months ago.  She is in her mid-50s and acts like her foot was sawed off.  It’s insane.  When she first injured it, she did all of this crazy stuff so she wouldn’t have to use crutches:  she rented this weird scooter thing to get around, she set out rolling chairs all over her house so she wouldn’t have to hobble, etc.  It wasn’t even that bad.  And she still acts like she just hurt it yesterday, and that she’s a 90 year old who can’t bounce back from an injury.  We are all annoyed by this because she constantly complains about it.  I.E – She voted early yesterday and had to stand in line for 1.5 hours.  Today she says she could barely move it when she got up, even though she’s walking around the office just fine.  It’s a minor fracture!  Not a shattered bone!

My boss is super sweet, but sometimes she gets so snippy.  I don’t think she handles pressure/stress very well.  Maybe she’s going through “the change.”  It’s really annoying.  It also bugs the hell out of me when she walks into my office, drops a paper on my desk, and asks me to fax it to the client.  In the time it took her to do that, she could have done it herself.  I’m not an intern!

I have a phone conference tonight at 5:30 that usually lasts until 6:30.  I hate those.  They run so late for us because our client is in another time zone.  It would be so much nicer if we could start at 4:30 or 5 so I could leave work at my normal time.

Got any happy/annoying news you want to share/vent about?  🙂

Today I met up with my sister (Little S) and her boyfriend (JT) for lunch.  I work near a very ethnically diverse area – there are a lot of Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai and Japanese restaurants.  A lot of them are very authentic, while others are more Americanized.  Today we decided to go Chinese and eat dim sum.

I’ve never had dim sum before, so I was excited.  TJ, who is half Chinese, explained that dim sum is basically like tapas.  You order a lot of dishes in small portions and share them with the rest of your table.  I knew it was pretty authentic from the second we walked in because there were a lot of Chinese diners ordering in Chinese.  I don’t know if you judge international cuisine this way, but I do.  For example, I won’t go to a crappy restaurant for German food.  I will only eat there if it’s good.  If it’s not, I’ll make it at home.  I’m sure a lot of other people think this way too.

We sat down and ordered hot tea (which continued to burn my mouth throughout lunch – it never cooled down) and waited for the waiters to come by with the dim sum cart.  The first cart that rolled by was loaded with an assortment of items that I couldn’t identify.  There were a variety of buns, bready items and some strange white and green spongy things.  We skipped these dishes and waited for the steamer cart.

The steamer cart finally came by, and thank God we had JT there with us.  We weren’t sure about what a lot of the items were, but he was able to help us avoid the weirder choices.  We settled on a variety of shrimp and pork rolls and dumplings, spring rolls and these really tasty and fried rolls wrapped in bacon.  Bacon seriously makes everything better!  Everything was really tasty, and I was totally impressed.  I would definitely go back there again for lunch or dinner.

We were getting pretty full but decided that we wanted to branch out and try something exotic.  We opted for fried chicken feet.  JT assured us that they weren’t that bad and tasted like chicken.  Little S and I reluctantly took bites.  It’s weird to eat something in a foot shape.  It didn’t taste bad, but it was bony and difficult to eat.  I don’t think I’d ever get it again, but at least I can say I tried it.  One of the waitresses walked by and was impressed when she saw us eating it.

The funniest moment of lunch had to be when we first sat down.  One of the waitresses walked over to Little S and me and laid forks down next to our plates.  JT didn’t get one.  I guess she was worried that the white folks might not be able to master choptsicks.  Haha!  We did fine though.  The only time I used the fork was to eat the chicken foot.  I was afraid I would have a spastic moment and send it flying across the restaurant when I bit into it or that it would land on my white sweater.  That wouldn’t have been fun.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten or tried?

Today my co-worker Mel and I decided to vote early to avoid some of the craziness that is sure to ensue on November 4.  Question:  My readers in other states, are you able to vote early?

We left work at 1:30, and we hampered by the rain.  After about 20 minutes, we arrived at the early voting polling place.  We were worried at first because we thought the lines would be outside, which would have been awful since it was rainy and cold today.  Luckily (or so we thought) we weren’t outside for more than 5 minutes.  Then the real fun began.  We snaked through the building, down narrow hallways crammed with early voters.  The hallways were like mini saunas.  With all of the people in such a tight place, plus the heat and our sweaters, Mel and I thought we may pass out at points.

Finally we made it to the stairwell and were led up to the top floor.  We thought we had reached the voting room.  Oh no, we were being ushered into a courtroom to fill out our early voting paperwork.  The woman who was leading us around was a bit odd.  She kept yelling at people who didn’t wait at the top of the stairs.  She ordered Mel to stay at the top of the stairs until she told her to move, and to not let the rest of the group pressure her to leave the stairs.  What the hell did she think the crowd would do?  Bum rush Mel?  The woman was bizarre.  Once we got into the courtroom, she would get super bitchy if people started talking.  Half the room had already filled out their papers, and she was instructing the new batch of voters.  At one point she turned to this man who was talking to the guy next to him and stopped talking.  Then she said, “Go ahead.  I’ll wait till you finish.”  It was like we were in kindergarten!

Finally, after 2.5 hours, we cast our votes.  This took a whole 5 minutes.  But I am glad that we got it over with.  I’ve heard that lines on election day may be up to 6 hours long, and I definitely would not want to stand around all day.  I just wonder if this will deter people from voting.  I really hope not.  Waiting in line sucked, but Mel and I made the best of it.  We chatted and made friends with the people around us.  Some people brought books or played games on their phones.  One lady even had a fold up chair with her.  She was smart.

If you can vote early, I totally reccommend it.  Even though I won’t hit the polls on the 4th, my eyes will be glued to the TV all day, hoping to God that Obama and Biden kick some republican ass!

One year ago today, I went out for drinks with a co-worker after work.  T called me and said he’d cook a nice dinner for us.  I was excited and not at all suspicious.

When I walked in the door, he had the table set, there were candles and wine out, and he was cooking his shrimp and olive pasta.  Still there were no suspicions.  I just felt guilty for munching on a few apps while I was getting drinks.

We sat down at the table, and I started eating even though I wasn’t very hungry.  I knew he had worked hard and didn’t want to waste a dinner he’d made especially for me.  That’s when I noticed he wasn’t eating.  This freaked me out a little, so I asked him what was wrong.  He said he’d eaten a big lunch and was full.  I believed this even though it was 8:30 at night.

Then he put his fork down and looked at me (still no clue what was going on) and told me how much he loved me and how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.  Then it clicked!  He got up from the table, got on one knee, and asked me to be by his side for the rest of our lives.  Obviously I said yes!

We got married 10 months and 2 days later, and I couldn’t be happier.  I found my one and only, my other half.  It was completely unexpected but it was the best surprise of my life!

Love you T! 🙂

Post engagement glow!

We had to set the camera on the book case since we were all alone – hence the blurriness.

No I am not in outer space, but it would be cool to actually float.  I took some knock-off Zyrtec last night to help my awful eye allergies.  It’s really pretty funky (if you’re eating maybe you should finish before continuing on…I’m just saying).  All day long I constantly feel like I have something in my eye.  I am so thankful that I don’t wear contacts or I would be screwed.  My eyes get so bad that I have to stick my finger in them to wipe out the offending “eye slime” (that’s what Little S, my mom and I call it).  I do this multiple times throughout the day, and it’s really pretty annoying.  Not to mention disgusting for the people around me who get to see this every few minutes.

I probably squirt in my allergy drops up to 5 times a day, more if it’s a really gunky day. I’m starting to wonder if maybe I’m becoming immune to them because I honestly feel that they aren’t working nearly as well as they used to.  I wake up in the morning and my eyes are gritty and feel like sandpaper, or they are so gunked up that it blurs my vision.  Nasty I know.  I’m sorry.  Since the drops aren’t doing much in the way of stopping my eyeball irritation, I tried taking the knock-off Zyrtec last night in the hopes that it would do something.  Well, it definitely did something.  My eyes feel better but damn am I floaty, mediciney headed today.  It’s awful.  I took the pill almost 12 hours ago and still feel a little out of it.  You should’ve seen me when I finally managed to get up this morning.  I could barely open my eyes and was a little stumbley.  Awesome.  Punch-drunk Zyrtec.  Boo.  Does anyone have any eyedrops they can recommend?

In order to combat this constant tired floaty feeling, I decided to get some Starbucks.  I figured the caffeine would give me that little jolt I need to not pass out on my desk until this medicine high decides to go away.  Now here’s the thing; I hardly ever drink coffee because it bugs my stomach.  This means that I am far from being a Starbucks expert.  In all practicality I’m a Starbucks semi-virgin (I think I made a new term here) since I’ve been less than 25 times ever.

I always feel like such a dumbass before I go.  I don’t know the lingo and seriously research the menu online before going so I know how to order the right thing and not look like an outsider.  I can never remember the name for the small (tall – I researched) or the type of drink I want.  On past occasions I have totally confused the frappacinos with hot beverages and ended up with some frozen goodness on a chilly day.  Yeah, not quite what I had expected.

Today I did well though.  I decided on a pumpkin spice latte in honor of fall and the pretty colors outside, then had a true fat kid moment and ordered a pumpkin and cream cheese muffin.  And Oh. My. God. was it to die for.  So delish!  I love cream cheese in baked goods and with the spiciness of the muffin, it was perfect.  I scarfed that thing down in less than 5 minutes and chased it with my coffee.  So much for savoring the flavor.  I wish I had more.  😦

Random Side Note:

Are any of you having issues with deciding on/finding Halloween costumes?  I thought I was all set because I wanted T and I to be Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas.  It would have been awesome.  I even found costumes online.  But after further review, I realized that Sally’s outfit was sort of budget.  She wears this colorful patchwork dress, which is what the costume looked like from the front.  The back, on the other hand, is plain pink.  Does anyone else find this sort of strange?  I’d look very one sided with my colorful front and plain back.  Now I am having second thoughts on spending money on a half-assed costume.

And this is where my problem starts.  I can’t decide on what else to do.  I haven’t bought a real costume in years because I always make one from stuff I already own (I’ve been Courtney Love, Madonna, an 80’s girl, a German beer girl in a dirndl, and Heidi from Tool Time).  But this year I want a costume.  My big problem is that they are super duper slutty or drab and boring.  Either your ass, tits or snatch (sorry) is hanging out or you’re covered from head to toe.  I want to find a happy medium, but something tells me that I will end up whoring it up.  Oh well, what do I care?  I already have a husband, and he can protect me from the pervs on Halloween.

I do have another costume though.  JD and I are hosting our annual joint birthday party/Halloween bash.  Her birthday is actually tomorrow (don’t forget to wish her a good one) and mine is in mid-November, but it’s always fun to host the Birthday Spooktacular together.  She suggested that we be Smurfs.  And honestly, I loved that idea!  It’ll be pretty easy to do.  I figure we can use blue latex paint to cover ourselves with and find a white dress (we’ll both be Smurfette).  All we need is the Smurf hat.  Does anyone know what that boot-like hat is called and where I can find it?  Help!

This morning when I woke up, it was 40 degrees outside.  We slept with the windows open and the fan on.  Yeah, it was pretty cold this morning when I got out of bed.  Like 64 degrees inside.  Brr…

Because of the cold, I am wearing my new cute boots and a sweater.  The boots are fuzzy and warm inside, which makes me happy.  The fact that it’s now 64 degrees outside makes me feel slightly goofy for dressing like it’s winter.  Oh well, this morning it might as well have been winter.

So I couldn’t find a picture of them online.  Yes my leg is hiked up on my desk, and I’m taking the picture with my camera phone.  Notice the Chapstick that never leaves my side! 🙂

Speaking of boots, I ordered some more from DSW this morning because I had a coupon for $10 and a code for free shipping.  I am trying to justify the purchase…I need new black boots because my other ones are old.  Plus they are super cute!

I got them in black!  I can’t wait till they get here!

I really haven’t done much work at all today.  I’ve been chatting with co-workers, joining Twitter, buying boots and looking at Halloween costumes.  Oops!

Speaking of Halloween, does anyone have any cool costume ideas that they want to share?  I’m sort of stumped.  I want to do something funny but be clever at the same time…

I’m going to make French onion soup for dinner because it’s yummy and T loves it.  I can’t wait!

I’m wearing skinny jeans today so I can tuck them into my boots.  I love the way the look, but damn these things could use a little more elastic in them.  I can’t tuck my leg under me because there is so little stretch in the knee.  Hopefully they will get better with time!

Comcast is fired.  We upgraded to an HD TiVo box a few weeks ago, and have to use cable cards since it doesn’t run through a cable box.  Two Fridays ago, they came to install the cards, but one was broken (you either need 2 cards or a multistream card to record 2 things at once)  So they had to come back.  They came back on Saturday with a multistream card, but for some strange reason it only picks up the non-cable channels (NBC, ABC, etc.).  I’m pissed.  I can’t believe the technician didn’t check it before he left.  Now I have to wait till Wednesday to get a new card.  Stupid Comcast…maybe I’ll call them again and raise some hell!

So, what random things are you doing this Monday afternoon?

Last night I took my first step into the bread-like baking arena.  I’ve baked cookies and cakes before but never anything bready, like a pretzel.  I do have to admit that I was a little scared by this task at first, but once I got going it wasn’t too bad.

Originally we were hoping to get a recipe from T’s Oma, but we weren’t able to track it down in time.  So we found one on AllRecipes.com and went from there.

I mixed everything together and got a lump of super sticky dough that I had to kneed for like 8 minutes.  That was seriously some hard work.  After that, I put the lump in a greasy bowl so it could rest for an hour.

A little later, T and I were ready to dive hands first into pretzel making, so we took the dough out of the fridge.  Let me tell you, the thing tripled in size.  It was huge.  We cut it into 12 chunks and began rolling away.

T and I have different pretzel making styles.  Mine look like your traditional pretzels while his had lots of twists in the middle.  We both had an amazing time, and it was such a stress reliever to roll the dough, swing it around and fold it into a pretzel.  We coated them in a whole egg wash solution so they would get golden brown and loaded on the kosher salt so they’d be authentic.  We tried one last night, and it was amazing!

I am about to head out for the day, and head to our Oktoberfest party so I can chow down on our masterpieces.

The pretzels before they went into the oven.  The twisty middles are T’s.

The finished products!  Salty and delicious.

Wedding

Last night when I got home, I noticed a little brown package leaning against my front door.  At first glance I thought it was the new joint checks that T and I ordered last week, but upon further examination I realized that it was our wedding DVDs.  Yay!

Out of curiosity I went ahead and opened it, instead of waiting for T to get home.  We received 4 copies of edited footage and 2 copies of the entire unedited footage.  I can’t wait to watch both!  Once I pried (and I literally had to pry) open the box, I was met with some disappointment.  There was a typo on the label.  My maiden name is often confused with a synonym for sugary, and that’s what was printed on the label.  Not cool.  That’s why you double check things before you send them out.  I popped in the video, hoping the typo was just on the label.  Nope, it’s on the DVD footage too.  So I e-mailed the company and told them to correct it and send me 6 new copies.  It’s a bit of a hassle, but it’s not the end of the world.  I can totally give some of the typo-ed versions to friends to they can have a copy too! 🙂  Look at me always trying to be the problem solver!

Family Fun

I can’t wait until tomorrow night!  We are having an Oktoberfest party at my parents house, and it’s sure to be a ton of fun.  My mom is making sauerkraut and bratwursts.  My dad will have the bar fridge (my parents have a full bar in the basement, complete with a kitchen-sized fridge full of beer) stocked with tons of tasty German brew.

This was the fridge stocked up for New Year’s Eve 2006-2007

T and I are going to make German pretzels!  What?!?!  You heard me.  We’re going to try to bake some authentic German pretzels.  T’s Oma (grandmother) used to make pretzels every Easter and hang them in a tree (I’m not sure about this one – my German fam never did this) for the kids to find.  I’ve never made them before, so I hope they turn out ok.  They will definitely be loaded with salt like the real Oktoberfest versions!

Check out that giant, salty monster!  Hope mine turn out this good!

Work

Here’s a question to all of my fellow PR chicas out there.  Do you ever feel that some of your clients’ expectations of getting publicity are warped?  Like that they believe that every thing they do needs to be in the paper?  I have this one client in a smaller town, and they think everything they do deserves an article.  This paper has been very generous in giving them a lot of publicity in the past.

What’s even more annoying is that I’m expected to constantly call and e-mail and find out why they aren’t running certain articles.  I can tell you why.  It’s because the economy is falling apart and the elections are coming up.  There is more important news out there at the moment.  I’m just saying.  I feel like this constant harassing is hurting my relationship and not doing anything to benefit the client down the road.

How do you deal with the pressure put on you from clients/your boss to keep getting articles published in one paper?  Do you keep calling/e-mailing to see why it hasn’t run?  Or do you just leave it as is after a phone call and e-mail?  Even if you’re not in PR, how do you deal with this type of pressure?

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