Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My favorite spam email titles from last week

We have been getting a prolific amount of spam at work recently. I don't know who beat our spam filters to death, but I'll bet Sybase (parent company) has something to do with it.

Anyway, everyone here at Sybase 365 (subsidiary) has been getting oodles of spam. I am talking 200-a-day oodles. More spam than work email.

Typically, as you know, spam is meant to be alluring to its recipient with the hope that a stupid person will click through and buy something (bigger boobs, more active sex life, you name it). I don't know a single living human who has ever acted upon a spam message, but someone *somewhere* must be doing it, or the fools who send spam wouldn't send so darn much of it.

Following are my five favorite spam Subject lines from last week. Keep in mind, again, that these titles are meant to tantalize you into clicking.

1. They plump when you take 'em

2. The quicker pecker upper

(and here is where it all falls apart)

3. Wheelchair necklace

4. Table Staircase Apple Torpedo

(and my favorite)

5. Kitchen Milk Fungus Clown

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Crazy neighbor story (long, but funny)

The other night after work, Rory and I went out for a walk to play in the snow. We visited the playground and the mailbox first, and then wound our way into the adjoining neighborhood behind us. We went down the short street, hooked a left into an adjacent cul-de-sac, and began climbing on the plowed pile of snow in residence.

There is a Chinese man (a Buddha in the yard and everything) who lives next to this cul-de-sac. He has two lovely lilac trees on his property line, and last Spring, he hacked off a branch for me to take home (note: lilacs don't live well off the tree). On this night, he appeared in the driveway with several other people, and was obviously bidding them a fond farewell. Then he came over to say hi (to the only other two humans outside - it was 34 degrees out).

He greeted Rory, asked me if she was cold ("Children don't feel the cold," I replied), and then flounced away again. I figured he was bored with our stimulating conversation - or cold because he lacked a coat - but no. He returned, and though I didn't notice it at the time, he was hiding something for Rory behind his back. He suddenly pseudo-pounced on her, and whipped out a bag of cookies, which he handed to her, yelling, "Cookies!" She was thrilled, naturally, so I thanked him, opened them up, gave her one, and asked her to say thank you (which she did).

It was getting to be time for us to mosey on home, anyway, so we took our leave of him, thanking him again for his generosity. Rory then slipped on some sidewalk ice, and he ran off again, muttering something about "getting something to take care of the ice." I'm imagining salt, cat litter, that kind of thing.

Instead he comes tearing out of his garage wielding a giant pick axe - a huge, "I've been working on the railroad" sized pick axe. And I think, "This is how it is all going to end. He is going to kill me (and possibly the child) with a pick axe in his driveway. Nice." He races past me and begins pounding on the offending ice, and we continue on our way.

But it's not over yet! Then he comes back (Rory is starting in on her second cookie by this point), and starts babbling about how he does photography, how he has a studio in his basement (naturally, always with the basement), and how he should take her picture. Seriously now, am I being punked?? Is someone filming this?

I mutter something about how she needs a bath and is far too dirty to photograph, and off we go, Rory happily munching her cookie and oblivious to the obvious weirdness of the ENTIRE situation. Cookies, pick axes, and photography.

Incidentally, Crazy Chinese Guy (heretofore known as CCG) lives next to Crazy Redneck Guy (CRG), who feeds neighborhood wildlife via a bowl of cat chow on his driveway - and refers to it as his "varmint bowl." Yes, he uses the word varmint.

Can't wait to move!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Stealing Rory's sunglasses

And loving it! Go Fiona go!

The whole world changes when Rory naps. Fiona explores unfettered, throws toys around uninterrupted, and plays "vacuum cleaner" by eating discarded bits of food off the floor.

How handy! => She is such a good baby. I can hardly imagine how much more useful she will be when she learns to walk!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Rory is officially 2.5 years old!

And because she SO loves the ceremony of birthdays, we bought her a "happy birthday cake," complete with 2.5 candles (I hacked one in half using scissors) and singing. She didn't eat the cake, of course, as is her norm (whose child is she, if she isn't a sugar freak?). We had a ball.

At 2.5, Rory sings constantly, loves to have books read to her, enjoys watching "Miss Spider," "Finding Nemo," and "SpongeBob" on TV (30 minutes after dinner), coloring, playing with Lego, going to the playground, Play-Doh, and puzzles. Typical kid fare! She is very, very verbal. Very. Tremendously. We rarely fail to understand her, which is super handy and makes her a very pleasant child to hang with. The other day, on the way back from the supermarket, I was getting her out of her car seat. She looked up at me and said, "Mommy, I'm happy."

Brings a tear to the eye, I tell you. =)

Did I mention that Fiona ate a bite of cake? Happily!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Happy birthday, Gram! 94 and counting!

Grandma Del turns 94 today! She is still sharp as a tack, and a lover of the Red Sox, Patriots, and all UCONN sports. She has had an amazing life thus far, and has five grandchildren and three great-granddaughters (Delly G., Rory M., and Fiona M!) to her genealogical credit. A lifelong Connecticut resident, she has a keen interest in politics, books, and people. She is feisty, funny, a great cook, a wonderful baker, and a fantastic knitter of sweaters, hats, and blankets.

I will post a picture later!

Birthday party for Fiona

I have decided - because winter is boring and Fiona is cute - that we are going to throw a small birthday party for our impending one-year old. If you read this and don't get invited, please don't be insulted. It will be really, really small. Rory is all excited, and is queued up to help Fiona open her presents. I am trying to find "hungry caterpillar" balloons, plates, and the like. She loves the caterpillar!

Anyway, that's about it for today. Today is "Daddy Day," take II - aka, the second Friday in a row Craig has the girls alone at home all day. I now have to work in the office on Fridays (bah), so he is the man in charge. This morning, he took the chickies to Target and Wegman's. So productive!

Go Daddy Day!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Gooooooooooo Patriots!!

On to the big game. The Pats keep showing how many different ways they can win: by many points (thanks, Skins!), by few points, while injured, with Tom Brady not throwing well, and then some. Can anyone stop them?

Maybe the Giants are the team. My long-deceased grandfather, Leo, would be hoping so! He was a Giants fan before New England had a team, and though he might be conflicted in this series, who knows how he might have leaned. My sister, Liz, must be thrilled! She will be happy either way.

That said, to heck with that! GOOOOOO PATS!!!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


We had our first measurable snowfall today! Finally. While the girls were at daycare (and I was at work), Craig went out and had a little fun in the show. He made a snow family and a hippo. They were too cute! Sadly, it started to rain by 5:00, and the family fell apart at the seams. The hippo lived on, and Rory has enjoyed petting him on the head. "Hello, snow hippo!"

Sadly, the snow turned useless by nightfall as a heavy rain pelted it into submission. We want more snow! Well, *I* want more snow - Craig would be inclined to disagree. Anything that messes up his bike schedule is pure, unadulterated evil as far as he is concerned. Though take one look at his snow creations, and you'll see that he enjoyed himself immensely. Making these snow creatures was certainly more fun that when he carved "Welcome, Fiona" into the ice the week she was born. Anyone who wants to see a picture of that (it was incredible) should send me email. Our neighbors enjoyed it, that's for sure!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fiona is 11 months old!

One month away from ONE! It seems amazing to us. Fiona is crawling so fast now that it almost seems like running on hands and knees. She cruises like mad, free-stands for long periods without falling over, and is eating more and more "real" (aka, non-jarred yuckiness) food.

Rory started walking just shy of one, so we have been kind of viewing these next few weeks as the final non-walking ones for Fiona. Just watch her foil us and wait a few more months to walk - sneaky baby! She had better not - my back can't take hauling her around much longer! 27 pounds of love, all packed into one cute, squishy body. I palpate her constantly (an admission I regularly make).

Enjoy these recent pictures of sweet Fiona. The one of her with the hoodie on is just hilarious. Nice pointy pink cap! The other pic was taken at the house of our good friends, the McCrea's (Sheila, Chip, and Ethan, who is Rory's age - they are fabulous pals).

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Neat food tracking site

In the spirit of the new year, and of all that resolution-making madness, I have decided to track what I eat. Just to see if it works. I signed up for a weekly diet-oriented email, and the early January post talked about a new, cool food tracking site called Figwee. Registration is currently free, though at some point down the road they may charge a $10 monthly fee (which sounds cheap to me, if this method is helpful).

You can enter a target number of calories to eat a day, and then add foods as you eat them. But you're not just adding foods, you add pictures - pictures that you can change based on the amount of a certain item you have consumed. So if you had grilled chicken but aren't exactly sure how much, you choose chicken, then use a slider to determine how much you ate. The number of calories, fat, etc. changes as you increase/decrease the portion.

It is very cool, and I have found it tremendously helpful. I chose 1800 calories, and have been under that most days - without feeling full. That is scary, a bit, because it makes me realize how much food I was eating before AND it makes you realize how little food you actually need to live! Good to know!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy 2008!

We hope everyone enjoyed a fun and safe New Year's Eve, and that 2008 is a prosperous one.

Today, two fantastic things happened: we turned Fiona's car seat around so she
now faces forward, and we took the girls to a professional hockey game!

First, let's discuss the car seat. You are supposed to keep a baby's seat facing backwards for a year, but Fiona is so long that her legs have been jamming up against the seat for weeks now. She will be a year in six mere weeks, so we figured we'd throw caution to the wind and emancipate her now. She is thrilled, as you can see in this picture. "WOO HOOO!!!!"

In the afternoon, we packed up enough food, diapers, wipes, and whatnot to survive several hours away from the house, and we drove into D.C. to take the girls to a Washington Capitals hockey game. Rory had been to a game when she was five months old, but not since - and this was Fiona's first foray into the world of professional sports. It will also likely be her last for a few years, until she can both walk AND not run loose like a wild animal (I figure by age 4). Both girls (and Craig) had a good time.

By some astonishing stroke of luck, we got tickets in a suite, aka, an enclosed room with its own loo, a coffee table and several cushy chairs, and three private rows of
stadium-type seats. HOW perfect for people with a 2-year old who possesses an intrinsic need to run, and two kids who need diaper changes! It was awesome. We even bought Fiona a commemorative puck! And the Caps beat the Ottawa Senators (the best team in the entire Eastern conference) by a score of 6-3. C-A-P-S, Caps, Caps, Caps!

We had a great day, and we look forward to a fantastic 2008!