Saturday, January 31, 2009

My birthday is in 5 days *hint hint*

If I could have ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING for my birthday this year, it would be a ticket to Coachella Music Festival. Oh, how I had $300 of disposable income! Look at the line up! My lifelong dream (since I really started caring about music as a child) has been to see Paul McCartney live. And he's a HEADLINER. Plus The Cure....another band I've ached to see live. And Franz Ferdinand?!? And Amy Winehouse?!? And The Killers?!? If someone out there in the blogosphere really loves me....this is what I really REALLY want. Enough that I'd sit out in the desert sun for three days.

As far as obtainable gifts, my Amazon Wish List is updated...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

T Minus 10 Hours


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Breakfast of Champions

Tonight we had Chick-fil-A for dinner to use up our free sandwich coupons from the CFA calendar. I love the signage that CFA uses, and this was my favorite sign of the day: Try a Coca-Cola Zero with your Breakfast Meal. I laughed because when I DO have a breakfast meal, I typically choose Coke Zero or Dr. Pepper. I don't drink coffee, but I do get my caffiene fix! On the way out, the sign was advertising their catering services : Good for holidays, and any day that ends in Y. (Get it? All days of the week end in Y)

Now it's time to get off the computer and pack for my trip to Cali. I'm going straight after work. Taylor's going to drop Rosie and I off at the MARTA train station that will take us directly into the airport terminal. We'd be cutting it close on time if we drove, and we'll be able to get our boarding passes in a less busy corner of the airport. Now, if only I had a CLEAR pass...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Virgin Complaint

This letter, from a passenger of Virgin Atlantic, takes the cake of the best complaint letter ever filed. It's even better than as my rant letters.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The "F" Word

Oh my heck. We just got word that Taylor's airline have decided to start the furlough process. Hopefully Taylor's up enough in seniority that it won't affect him, but's scary. Keep your fingers crossed and knees bent in his behalf.

*Update: After scouring the company website, airline pilot forums, and a few news websites, it looks like the brunt of the company structure changes will be administrative. Right now 50 administrative employees between the 4 bases, including base managers, have been laid off. No specific pilot furloughs have been officially announced, but that's the talk in the bowels of the crew room. Taylor's got about 300 FO's below him, so we're safe for the moment.


Today was a big day in my blogging career. According to my Sitemeter, I've had 10,000 unique visitor hits since I added it to my blog in January 2008 (I started blogging back in 2002, but have no idea how many hits happened prior to adding my meter). What does 10,000 equate to? It is roughly equivalent of the population in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Or the amount of steps one should walk to achieve improved health and fitness.

Another milestone was that I was approved to be a contributor to Modern Molly Mormon. It's a fun and witty site about being a modern Latter-Day Saint woman, without all the cliche stuff that one thinks about as a "Molly". All the writers have a fun "M" name, such as Married Molly, Mighty Molly, Moxie Molly, Media Molly, etc. I've chosen the name Mnemonic Molly (not demonic, pneumatic, or melodic like some people think I'm saying). You can see me listed here under the contributors section. My introductory post is HERE, and keep an eye on my Twitter feed for future posts. Stay tuned!

My Word...

Your Word is "Love"

You see life as possibility to form deep connections with a few people.

Relationships are the center of your world, and you always take time to bond with those you love.You are caring and giving. You enjoy helping those you love.

And when it comes to romantic love, you feel passionately ... even in a very long term relationship.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Are you surprised?

91%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Lunch in Athens

Yesterday, Rosie and I drove 70 miles into Athens, GA to meet up with my old high school friend Amy. She's been working on a graduate program at the University of Georgia, and has one year to go. I had mostly lost touch with her since we graduated, even though she was one of my most admired friends through school. We reconnected on Facebook this year, and I was thrilled that she was living so close to where I was moving.UGA's mascot is the bulldog, and all through Athens you will see a variety of painted bulldogs for decoration. This one matched my shirt, and Rosie and I used it as a photo op.
In high school, Amy was nicknamed "Tall Amy," for obvious reasons, and because another girl had the same name (first names spelled different though). I'm 5'10", and she's even taller than me. She was perched out on a bench with her head in a book, waiting for Rosie and I to arrive at the Last Resort Grill (just as I suspected). She treated us to fried green tomatoes, and I indulged in the delicious "Blow Oscar" sandwich. After lunch, we walked around downtown Athens and the UGA campus.
Everytime Rosie goes on a college campus, she says she wants to attend that school when she grows up. What do you think....will Rosie grow up to be a 'Dawg'?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fast Track to a jet pilot?

When something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Especially in aviation.

I recently found out about the website that airs out all the dirty laundry about Jet University, a flight school in Fort Lauderdale. They offer a jet transition program that will take you from your commercial pilot license (with multi-engine and instrument rating) to regional jet first officer in 4 months. You pay a lot of money up front($26,000-$70,000 depending on the program) to prepare for a guaranteed job interview with a regional airline. The splinter site talks of gross financial mismanagement and countless students that have been strung along without the contracted and promised results. There's even a class-action lawsuit in the works for the pilots who have been taken advantage of by Jet U.

It's true that some of the people who went through the program were successful, and are employed by the airlines as outlined (including my husband). For the others, I hope you are able to get the restitution you deserve.

5 days to go...

I'm getting really excited for my trip to California next week. I was able to get approval from work to take Friday off. Rosie and I will be heading to our Zion Thursday evening. Friday we're going to go to Disneyland with Liz, and I'll have a Girls Night Out with some of my friends in the evening. Saturday morning, I'll be spending time with my in-laws, and hopefully be picking up Taylor from the airport (he's going to be coming off a high-speed so he's still undecided if he's actually going to come to Cali, even though he has the weekend off). Saturday afternoon I'll be heading up to Palmdale for Heather and Cody's wedding reception. That evening, my dear friends Anastasia and Kathryn will be performing at Molly Malones' in LA...and fun nights out on the town typically follow. Sunday morning we'll head back to Georgia.

I almost feel giddy with excitement to see Heather, or meet her, rather. I started stalking her blog in July when he won a contest on TAMN's blog. I loved her posts so much that I started from the beginning of her blog and read to her current post. I feel like I found a kindred spirit, and I smacked myself in the forehead saying, "Why didn't I find her blog back when I lived in California? We would have been fast friends!" We share the same obesessions of Anne of Green Gables, Arrested Development, The Office, cute delicious cupcakes, the beach, and supporting Prop 8. We also can share a lot of sympathy over hyperactive hives and Benadryl addictions.

She has a really interesting story with Cody, and here's the short version (and correct me if I'm wrong, Heather): She served as a missionary in Ukraine, came home and fell in love with Cody, and they planned to get married. Then the spirit started tugging on his heartstrings, and he prayed and decided to serve a mission prior to their wedding. Coincidentally, Cody was called to Ukraine. Heather wrote him faithfully, yet kept an independent fun life while he was across the world. He got home in December, and the decided to waste no time and get married on January 31st. Her positive attitude reminded me of how I had to keep things together for Rosie and I while Taylor was gone for flight training in 2007. Taylor was gone the better part of 11 months, and I only got to see him occasionally (like maybe one weekend every month or two). I can only imagine how difficult it would have been to not see Taylor at all for two years.

We may live on opposite sides of the country, but think we'll hit it off, and I'll have another mandatory friend to visit on my quick trips to Cali.

And as a funny side note, I'll be attending Anastasia's concert right after the wedding reception...and Nastia's from Ukraine. That's almost as coincidental as my uncle marrying two gorgeous Ukranian trophy wives (yes Lena, I know you read my blog :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Social Calendar

If you've been following my blog for any amount of time, you've probably noticed that I have a hard time sitting still for long. I'm impulsive and daring, and love to try new things and going places. I was marking up my new calendar at work with everything going on in the next few months...and it's going to be a blast!

Jan 24: Touring Athens, GA with my friend "Tall Amy" from HS

Jan 29-Feb 1: California. I'll spend Friday at Disneyland with Liz, an evening with friends Friday night, and go to Hizzeather's wedding reception Saturday and a Nikki Forova Concert. Hopefully Taylor will join Rosie and I, since he'll have that weekend off (*note* if you're a friend that want to see me Friday in Cali, let me know)

Feb 5-7: The weekend of my birthday. Taylor is on reserve for the 5th (my actual birthday) but he's off for the rest of the weekend. Friday night we're going to have a birthday/housewarming party, and Saturday we'll tour cool destinations in Atlanta (World of Coca-Cola, CNN Tour, Georgia Aquarium, etc)

Feb 14: Valentine Day. Taylor's got something up his sleeve

Feb 17-19: Three Fox Elipsus Concerts in the Atlanta area (and if I weren't at those, I'd be seeing Nathan McEuen in Nashville)

Feb 20-22: Texas. I'm going to stay with my HS friend Janet Jackson (except she's not famous nor skanky) and tour the Dallas/Fort Worth Area. And hopefully hit Six Flags over Texas at some point

Feb 27: Missy Higgins and Justin Nozuka Concert at the CW Loft

March 17: NKOTB concert in Greenville, SC (I've got an extra ticket if you're interested)

March 19: A big gala event for work that I get to be all fancied up for

April 3-5: Chicago for Pilot Wives Club Meet-up!

Pilot Wife Resources

My hubby's plane

Some of you may have noticed my badges for Pilot Wives Club on my sidebar, as well as me being the featured wife of the month for January. I wanted to give you a list of some of my other favorite aviation and pilot wife/gf/so websites and groups for those who are looking for a little more support and friends in your situation...or for those who love to stalk and want to know more about the realities of pilot wifestyle. Here are my favorite groups:

Pilot Wives Club
Wives and Girlfriends (or Boyfriends!) of Pilots Facebook Group
Love My Pilot
Jet Girls

As well as a variety of pilot wife/gf/so blogs.Here's my current blogroll...

If I missed you, let me know!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Take a picture NOW!

Voluntarily tagged by Mandy:

1) Take a picture of yourself right NOW!
2) DON'T change your clothes; DON'T fix your hair... Just take a picture.
3) Post that picture with NO editing.
4) Post these instructions with your picture.

TAG! You're it!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Southern Belle Bob

The last time I had short hair was in late 2005 or 2006 when I donated my hair to Locks of Love. Taylor prefers it long, and I do like it long, but the humidity here makes the back of my hair turn into a tangled mess by the end of the day. Taylor and Rosie needed cuts, so I decided to get one too. The Great Clips $5.99 special, and I pointed to the picture on the wall of the salon. What do you think?

NKOTB Revisited

NKOTB announced another leg of their tour. Unfortunately, they won't be performing this time in Atlanta, and the closest location in Greenville, SC. It will be on Tuesday, March 17th (St. Patricks Day). It's about a 2 hour drive from here. Tickets go on sale January 24th, and will probably be around $40. I'll probably drive out after work, sleep over in a hotel, and come back early in the morning for work. Anyone with me?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Favorite Aviation Commercial

When I lived in Utah, I spend four years in the semi-professional womens' choir, Viva Voce. When I was in the choir, I sang one of my favorite pieces of choral music of all time: Adiemus from Songs of Sanctuary. I had heard it years before on this Delta Airlines Commercial, and was excited to learn it. This was before I even knew Taylor, let alone him starting his aviation career. I randomly found it on YouTube today. Pardon my French, but I actually understand what they're saying.

22 Hours in Utah

On Friday night, I'd decided not to come to SLC because the flight loads were yucky and I needed to take it easy to recover from bronchitis. My mom called to guilt-trip me about it, but I told her my mind was made up. But I woke up at 3:30 am and started IMing my sister Mary. She had driven 4 hours down from college for the weekend and really wanted to see me. I checked the flight loads for the morning flights, and they were quite positive. Taylor was on a high speed to Pittsburgh, and would be on another one to Dayton the next night. I dragged Rosie out of bed, packed up our overnight bags (couldn't find the camera because of all the moving mess), and drove to the airport.

There were 55 open seats on the flight, and all 55 people on standby got on (the plane was totally full) Rosie was across the aisle from a nice girl a bit older than her, also the child of a pilot. They chatted through much of the flight, which helped the 4 hours go by. We arrived in SLC at 10:30, and my sister's friend Melina picked us up. We made a few necessary stops (Sunflower Market, Seagull Book, Downeast Basics, etc), had lunch with Melina, Mary and her roommate Katie, and went down to my parents beautiful new home in Lehi.

My friends Esther and Emily both visited, and the three of us went up to South Towne Mall to do some shopping. I came back for my mom's 51st birthday party. Dad made teriyaki chicken, I made my famous
Better than Sex Cake, and all the family was together for a few hours, sans Taylor :( Since I'd been up since 3 am EST, I was totally dead tired by 11 pm MST. Mary will be taking me to the airport at 6:30 am, and I'll be back in ATL around 2:00 long as flight loads cooperate. Wish me luck!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Why I Love Chick-fil-A

One of the unimportant, but beneficial nonetheless, deciding factors of me moving to Atlanta was access to the foods, restaurants and stores I love. Trader Joes…check! El Pollo Loco…check! IKEA…check! Ulta…check! Torrid…check! I was happy to discover that there are 76 locations of Chick-fil-A in the Atlanta Metro area. I’ve mentioned it here in there in the past, but CFA is my favorite fast food chain (followed up by Burgerville USA in WA and OR…best sweet potato fries EVER) My friend Emily even gave me a CFA gift card for Christmas.

Why I love Chick-fil-A:

All of their menu items are under 500 calories (with the exception of the hand-spun shakes, which are phenomenally delicious at 700ish calories)

They have a good breakfast menu – Offerings of sausage or chicken biscuits, bagels and burritos, and the best fresh fruit cup in the fast food industry

Their menu is fairly simple, but you can get BBQ, Polynesian, and several other sauces to dress your sandwiches

Waffle-cut fries. ‘Nuff said!

Their ads are clever, and they have a funny calendar each year chock full of coupons

They offer more diet drinks than just Diet Coke. Particularly Diet Dr. Pepper. And although I don’t drink it, I love seeing people’s reactions when they talk about the CFA sweet tea (*cough* Erin!)

They’ve stuck with their commitment to stay closed on Sundays

When I lived in Michigan, our closest location was 55 miles away in a mall in Toledo, OH. The times we went, we loved the food…but it wasn’t the same as going to a freestanding location. Now we live just around the corner from a triple-drive-thru location of CFA. It’s been invaluable these past two weeks while we’ve been living in our new home with no dishes. Let me hear you…who loves CFA?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Organ Recital

This is an actual picture of my chest x-ray today

At age 7, I started seeing a dermatologist for eczema

At age 11, I was diagnosed with asthma

At age 16, I had my first ulcer

At age 19, I was hospitalized for a kidney infection

At age 20, I gave birth to my daughter. During that hospital stay, I was exposed to e. Coli in the hospital, went septic, and into ARDS. I was on a ventilator in the ICU for 3 weeks. At the end of the hospital stay, I developed a blood clot in my arm (from fingertip to armpit) and went on anticoagulation therapy for 6 months

At age 21, I had my first migraine and started immunotherapy for allergies

At age 23, I was diagnosed with hypersomnia and sleep apnea

At age 28, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome

And I've basically been overweight since birth, despite numerous dedicated attempts to reduce my weight

Today I went to my new pulomonary/sleep specialist. I have been having terrible sleep luck since October. Usually, I miraculously get by with only 4-6 hours of sleep per night, typically interrupted. I can only recall a handful of times I've gotten more than 7 hours of continuous sleep in 4 months. I've been snoring like a lumberjack, much to my poor husband's dismay. I've also been feeling sick for a week, and was told on Sunday at Urgent Care that it was "just a cold." I've been huffing my inhaler every few hours for a couple of days, and it was a stroke of luck to get into a pulmonologist so quickly.

I did my H&P wth the PA, did a pulmonary function test, had two chest x-rays, and met with "Dr Eye" (his last name starts with "I" but I can't remember his actual name). He said that I've got a pretty advanced case of bronchitis, and he was surprised that I was still working with it this bad. He reviewed my old sleep records, suggested that I resume CPAP therapy, and scheduled me for another overnight sleep study. He also strongly urged me to look into some surgical options to improve my overall health.

Oftentimes, I've wondered if my body was the major trial I was given in this life.

To SLC, or not to SLC

...that is the question.

I've got a 3-day weekend for work, and there's a lot going on in SLC. My friend Nicole's wedding, my friend Antoinette's party, seeing my parents' new home in Lehi, my sister will be down from Rexburg, etc.

Unfortunately, to make it to the wedding and party, I'd have to work a half day Friday. I have lunch plans with my manager, a meeting and tour at one of the hospitals I work for, and no vacation time. Plus the flight loads are really iffy. So if I make it for the fun Friday night, I'd be missing out on an important day. And have to take Rosie out of school. Saturday morning's flight at 6:50 am looks promising, but I'd have to leave Sunday night at midnight for the best chance back. Is it worth the hassle of traveling when I'd be there for less than 48 hours? And all this the weekend that our moving truck arrives in GA?

I'm really jonesing for Leatherby's, Zuppa's, and The Pie.

Monday, January 12, 2009

For all the Doogie Lovers out there...

Yes, I'm aware that the link doesn't work. I hope that NBC Universal will be able to sort out their licensing issues to bring us back this wonderful video.

4th Folder Photo Tag

To lighten the mood from yesterdays somber/inspiring post, here's a photo tag from Tripacerchick . I've done it before, but my photos have been rearranged and reinstalled from the Facebook Virus crash, so here we go with 4th Folder, 4th Photo!

This photo was taken in June 2008 of Taylor, Rosie, and I at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. We spent a day enjoying the history of transportation (railroad, automobiles, aviation) and CHOCOLATE! The lighting is a bit bad for the background, but I believe we're sitting in an old railroad car. Had the photos been arranged a little differently, you'd be seeing me next to the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile.

A whopping TAG to anyone who wants to join in on the fun!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

One Year Since the Gaping Jaws of Death

Some people's heroes are religious, political, historical, or celebrity. But some of the most influential heroes are those that directly impact your life. In my life, my hero is my father, David Eugene Watson.Dad and I have always been very close. He is full of love, guidance, humor, and spirituality. I love to spend time with my parents, and it's been hard to move further than 20 minutes away from Murray. This picture of us was taken in April 2007 at the SLC airport. He was kind enough to bring my beloved Cafe Rio pork barbacoa salad to the airport on my 2 hour layover so we could chat. It was really hard on him when I moved away from Utah. Little did I know that when I moved to Michigan, I'd be seeing him more than ever...

On January 11, 2008, my dad was returning to Salt Lake from St. George in a van with some of his coworkers in the LDS Church Audiovisual Engineering Department. In central Utah, near Fillmore, the driver of the van overcorrected and the van tumbled off I-15 and rolled several times through a field. The driver sustained a shoulder injury and needed some plastic surgery from the shattered glass. The front passenger had minor cuts and bruises. My father was nearly killed from the impact of the crash and subsequent rolling. He had a giant abdominal gash from the seatbelt, a lung injury, major contusions all over his body, and his legs were crushed under the weight of his body, particularly his left leg. He was briefly taken to Fillmore Hospital, and soon LifeFlighted to Salt Lake City and rushed by ambulance to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. My mom alerted me of the accident that evening, less than a week after arriving in Michigan. Rosie and I packed up our bags and took the earliest available flight to SLC. Once I arrived, I was appointed as the family representative to talk to all the surgeons, doctors, nurses, respiratory techs, and hospital workers...and then relay the information to my family.

His first surgery was overnight with an orthopedic surgeon, vascular surgeon, and general surgeon. They did a saphenous vein graft from his other leg to restore bloodflow to his crushed leg. After nine hours, they were able to restore bloodflow to the left leg. However, his body was in shock and had endured so much trauma that he was medicated into a chemically-induced coma.

Over the next few days, several more surgeries were required. Unfortunately, the trauma of the crush wound was too severe and his left leg was amputated. It was originally expected to be amputated just below the knee, but the necrosis had spread further up, and the amputation was done at mid-thigh.

In order to keep friends and family informed, I started a blog for his health updates. News of my dad's accident spread like wildfire, even internationally. We were the recipient of thousands of prayers, hundreds of service hours, and dozens of meals and cards. To date, there have been over 8,000 visitors to his blog.

Throughout the next two weeks after the surgery, his condition improved. He was doted on by many loving people, in addition to the wonderful staff at IMC. On my 28th birthday, February 5th, dad "graduated" from IMC and was transferred to Aspen Ridge Transitional Rehab. This would become his home for the next four months.

Rosie and I traveled back and forth from Detroit as much as possible to encourage him through his recovery. It was difficult to be away from him all the time, but a blessing to have our pass benefits to travel to SLC for free whenever we needed to.

Dad made incredible progress at Aspen Ridge. He had hundreds of hours of physical, speech, and occupational therapy.

Taylor loved to fly out to SLC as often as possible to be my dad's right hand man. There's a saying about girls wanting to marry men like their fathers...let's just say they get along amazingly.
Dad was fitted with a prosthetic C-Leg, and spent the majority of his physical therapy time adjusting to the function of the prosthetic. Unfortunately, his right leg had sustained more damage from the accident than originally anticipated, so he spends the majority of time getting around in his wheelchair.
In June, Dad graduated from Aspen Ridge, and my family moved an apartment in downtown Salt Lake. It became their home for the next six months. Dad was fitted with hand controls on the van, and was able to start driving and returning to work.
This picture was taken on my last trip at Christmas at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, just one week before they moved out of the apartment and into a new home in Lehi. It was a great night, going around to see the lights at Temple Square as a family. It amazed me that I was able to visit him 9 times in 2008, when I'd originally expected to see him every 3-4 months. Hopefully his recovery will continue, and he'll be up for a visit our new home in Atlanta!

He still has a hard road ahead of him, but I am amazed at the progress he's made in the last year. He has kept his sweet soul and has not allowed the tragedy that he faced to ruin his spirit. He was been an inspiration to many, and I'm so lucky that I can't claim him as my own father.

End Experiment

I got an idea of what I was looking for in Google Analytics. Now you can stalk me to your heart's content in full mode from the privacy of your Reader page.

Have you read my feature on Pilot Wives Club yet?

View my page on Pilot Wives Club

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's Been 10 Days

After my somewhat negative RANT post from yesterday, I thought I'd post an update on how life has been in our new home. We're living as a family in our condo in Decatur. We had been staying at Clint's house in Stone Mountain for about a week and felt like a grand imposition. We braved it on air mattresses for a few nights, and our new bed was delivered yesterday. It's a fake Tempurpedic, but it's lovely. We also had our new TV delivered. We've been using a 15 year old heavy beast that was not functioning well in Detroit, and decided it was not worth shipping. We spent the day mounting it on the wall above the fireplace. Unfortunately, the way that the mounting kit and studs were in the wall, it couldn't be's right-of-center, but I plan to put in a cool photo collage next to it. Taylor went back to Detroit this week to finish packing and fill up the truck. The rest of our belongings will arrive at the end of next week.

As for work, I have nothing but great things to say. I've never been so embraced in a new workplace. The staff is wonderful and enthusiastic, the location is pretty good, and I know my work will be interesting. Since some of my coworkers have already stalked my blog, and I've decided to leave work details out of my blog...I don't want to ruin a good thing.

As for Georgia in general, I'm more comfortable here than Detroit. It's a bit funny because a lot of the things that I expected in Detroit have been apparent here, which I didn't expect. The roads are a crazy mishmash of streets that change names and twist together. I've put a lot of miles on my car trying to find my way around. And because I don't know the neighborhoods to avoid, I've had to keep my eyes on the road and not focus on how scary an area is. We've got good freeway access here, and can get to just about anywhere in the area - Midtown, airport, etc - in less than 20 minutes (if traffic is light).

I've usually been greeted with Southern hospitality, but I've also been surprised at the blatant prejudice and lack of manners. When I attempted to get my driver's license, I was the only white girl in the whole building. I listened to the way the receptionist talked to everyone else, and pulled strings to help them..but when it was my turn, it was like I was a contagious alien that would somehow infect her. She refused to allow me to get my drivers license because I didn't have a copy of my marriage license (which was NOT required on the list posted on the website.) Another man acted like he didn't speak English when I asked to borrow his pen. The most common phrase I hear, other than "Y'all") is "There ain't nothin' I can do 'bout it." It's frustrating to hear, especially time and time again by customer service reps. It'll take some getting used to.

Our ward is also great. I'm excited to attend church again tomorrow. Rosie is happy with her new classes both for primary and school.

And that's the report from ATL.

An Experiment

For all of those who have me in your Google reader...I'm curious how many people subscribe because I'm constantly finding about people stalking my blog in locations that never show up on my Sitemeter. For a while I'm going to post my blog in "short mode" and will only put the juicy details of my posts below the first 255 characters. No pictures will show up either. Just for a while, you guys!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Today's Rants

Olive Garden Restaurant
4749 Ashford Dunwoody Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30338

Dear Manager,
I still have a bad taste in my mouth after eating at your restaurant last night. My food was okay...mediocre I suppose...but that is what I've come to expect from Olive Garden. It was a lame idea for your big-wigs to make the soup and salad "special" $9, because that's about all I really enjoy at your establishment and more than a lot of your menu items that INCLUDE soup, salad, and breadsticks. Kinda like when you charge $3 for a little 1.5 ounce ramekin of marinara to dip your breadsticks, but you never say it's an additional cost. But what I'm frustrated about today is how I was treated when I contested my bill last night. My daughter was in the mood for shrimp and I asked the server if any of the kids meals could have shrimp. He said "For you little girl, of course!" and he put in the order for the pasty little bowl of fettuccine alfredo. The shrimp was good, but I was appalled that the $4 pasta kids meal turned into a $9 kids meal with the addition of the shrimp. Really? $4.95 for 3 pieces of shrimp? Ridiculous. Even worse, the server insinuated that he was giving us a freebie, and then did the bait-n-switch to make her gross pasta bowl more expensive than my mediocre mezzaluna pasta. I talked to my server, and he said he'd have the manager take care of it. The manager came over, and said "as a courtesy" he knocked the price down to $2.95 for the shrimp...but he warned us that NEXT TIME we'd be charged full price. Next time? NEXT TIME? No, there will be no next time. I'm done with Olive Garden.



Dear City of La Verne, CA,

I am again contesting the parking ticket issued to my rental car on November 1, 2008 at 6:01 am. The infraction was for parking in a driveway and blocking the sidewalk. As you know, the city ordinance is that no parking is allowed on the street at night to allow a semi-monthly streetsweeper right-of-way. After my Halloween festivities, I parked my car behind my in-laws van, and went to sleep. They had used a large fire portable firepit in the driveway for keeping the trick-or-treaters warm as they hollered for their candy. Because of this burning hot firepit, it could not be moved to the backyard, and the van was parked as close to the pit as safe. I in turn parked the car right behind the van, but the bumper of the car was hanging over the last slab of driveway about 4 inches. The sidewalk right-of-way was slightly hindered, but completely accessible by bike, pedestrian, or wheelchair. Yes, I know my in-laws neighbors hate them, and call the police department and child protective services 2-5 times per month to spite them (and also turn the sprinklers on all the kids for trying to trick-or-treat at their door) But it was obviously them who tipped you off that one minute after the street was available to park on, a ticket was placed on my $14/day Jetta.

I paid the $25 ticket online, expeditiously to avoid a late fee, but also turned in an appeal. The appeal was never answered, which didn't surprise me. But today in the mail I received a late notice for $115. I ALREADY PAID THE TICKET AND HAVE THE EMAIL CONFIRMATION! But you have no record. I have to fax a copy of the ticket, my bank statement, and the email receipt. Unfortunately, the ticket and bank statement is in a box in transit between Michigan and Georgia. And if I don't pay the ticket again by Monday, it's another $25 late fee tacked on.

For a city I love so much, I'm not so happy about you La Verne.



Dear Taylor,
I love you so much, and I'm so appreciative that you have worked so hard this week to pack up the rest of our life in Michigan. We will likely never experience the crazy cold temperatures that we did in Detroit. However, please stop teasing me for being cold. It's 38 degrees out here in Atlanta, and I'm in the house shivering in my parka because it's so cold. Rosie's wrapped up in a blanket next to me. You tease me for wanting to turn on the heater. But you have your coat on and are complaining about it being too hot. Can't you just take of your coat and long sleeve shirt, and let us turn on the heat so we stop shivering?


I'm Featured!

I'm the pin-up girl of the month at Pilot Wives Club! Check me out here. Now you can find out more about this girl who blogs, but actually leaves out a lot of the details. Any pilots wives out there not a part of PWC? Join at

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Prize Winners

Apparently I'm not good at getting people to comment on my blog, or submit for my giveaways. Which is kinda funny because I get 40-100 hits a day, and I always try for the free stuff on other people's blogs (but haven't ever won). Someday I'll post truly fabulous prizes worth entering for (like when we're out of debt?) However, there were two entries on my blog button contest, and by my secret random selection process...

The grand prize winner is...


Runner-up is...


Heather has won a gift card to a place that will be useful for her upcoming wedding this month (plus I'll throw in a little extra for your wedding gift just in case I can't make it to CA for the reception). Jen has won a selection of a few of my favorite things. Ladies, message me with your mailing address and await the splendor!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Settling In

We've had possession of our condo for a week now, and I thought I'd post a few pictures of our new home. Our moving truck still won't be here for another week, so we have no beds, dishes, furniture, etc. We've been staying at Clint's house in Stone Mountain, but last night we bought some air mattresses and hunkered down in our empty place. And now the virtual tour!

Rosie is leading us down the stairs to the back of the building where our unit is...

And Voila! Our new place. This is the sunroom that will function as our music/exercise room. I got a nice keyboard for Christmas to brush up on my my piano skills, and we got an elliptical machine on order to help fulfill our New Years Resolutions.

This is part of our living room and dining room. It'll be fun to have a gas fireplace. Unfortunately, the layout of the room is a little wonky, and we don't have anywhere to put our 15 year old partially-functioning tv (no room for an entertainment center) After much pleading, Taylor purchased a flat-screen tv that will be mounted on top of the mantle of the fireplace. Now we can watch our Yule Log DVD in style!
Here's Rosie again in the sunroom. She's excited about her gift from Santa this year. He delivered the bike to Georgia, so Rosie had to wait VERY patiently to get her gift.

Here's the kitchen. It's a bit on the small side, and there isn't a lot of storage. Thankfully, the dining room is large enough to get some armoires and shelving to take care of what the cupboards don't. Some trips to IKEA are in our future.

This is the Utility/Laundry room. I can't tell you how excited I am to have my own washer and dryer again! No more laborious trips to the laundromat!

And this is the master bedroom. Rosie's room is identical on the opposite side, except our room has a little walk-out porch. There's adequate closet space, but I was disappointed that it didn't have the huge walk-in closets that I mistakenly remembered from another place we viewed. We'll make it work.

After a lot of hassle and paperwork, Rosie starts school today at her new school. So far I'm REALLY enjoying my job (Yes, it's true...those of you coworkers who've found my blog) Everyone is so friendly, and I feel my skills will be much better utilized. My commute to Emory is about 20 minutes when traffic is bad. I'm currently working in a really nice office building off campus. Once we move back to campus in 6 months, I'll be doing the park and ride. It picks up a few blocks away from home, and drops off two buildings away from the health sciences building.

Taylor flies off to Michigan for one last time this morning. He'll be packing the rest of our belongings into boxes, cleaning, and disassembling furniture today. Tomorrow morning he'll load up the moving truck, turn in the keys, and fly back to Georgia for good.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Twitter Confessions

Over the last month, I've connected with two of my late elementary/middle school friends on Twitter. Chris and Mariko keep me in stitches daily with their status updates. Last night, Mariko made a random comment about a boy that I'd had a crush on for several years as a tween, and I confessed how I felt about him I rode my bike past boy's house on my way to piano lessons for 4 years. We used to ride bikes in the forest, climb trees and chain-link fences, and he did annoying things to me that I now realize were flirting.

Then Chris, one of said boy's long-time friends, chimed in that boy had a crush on me too. (Why couldn't I have known about this in 1993?) Boy and I wrote letters to each other for the next few years after I moved to Utah, and the topics of the letters usually revolved around doodles of people with mowhawks and emo monologues about death. I visited him a few times over the next few years until we graduated from high school. And each time he was better looking.

Throughout the next few hours, I also confessed that I'd crushed on Chris also, but he was dating my best friend Coral at the time. I also visited Chris on return trips to Oregon with her. Then Mariko confessed that she'd crushed on boy also. Who knew he was such hot stuff to the tween crowd?

So many confessions, all at 140 characters each.

Another blog button to choose from

Here's my retro blog button....also eligible for my contest. If the image doesn't fit well into your sidebar or footer, click "shrink to fit".

Monday, January 5, 2009

Blog Button Contest

Here's my first attempt at a blog button. Copy and paste the code and add me to your blog sidebar. Do I think I could ever do this again? Maybe in the wee small hours of the morning when I had another creative explosion. If you add me to your blog, please comment. You'll be eligible to win a fabulous secret prize (valued at $10) Must complete by Wednesday, January 7 at 9:00 pm EST to be eligible.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Dental Fail

One of my guilty pleasure blogs I follow is Fail Blog. It is a site that readers can send in their own entries of signs or websites have horrible spelling or grammar, or that look just plain wrong. Today I submitted that picture to their website. It's a little roadside dental office in Lithonia, GA that is pretty tattered. Every time I drive by it, I think "I'm sure glad I don't have to get my teeth taken care of there!" If the dental care is anywhere near the caliber of their groundskeeping, keep me away!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Meeting Blogger Friends: Brittany

This is just my lucky week in meeting blogger friends! Brittany and I have been emailing for several months, as soon as she found my blog and knew I was moving to Atlanta. She lives down in Peachtree City, which isn't the closest place to Decatur (she told me she was secretly hoping I'd move there). We're both part of the Pilot Wives Club, and follow dozens of the same blogs. We both have the same stalker habit of finding a new blog, starting at the earliest post (even if it's years in the past) and reading all the way up to the current.

She and I spent a good chunk of our lives in the Salt Lake City area. Our parents live minutes apart. We love the same restaurants. It's like we're long lost friends, and I'm so excited we finally met. We've both been through horrible "starter marriages" and love the relationships we have with our pilots. Our husbands seem to have a lot in common, and I'm sure they'll hit it off when they meet, and spend WAY too much on XBOX Live. Her son Kaden and my Rosie hit it off great. We had dinner at Taco Mac and Kaden slid under the table to sit by Rosie. Back at the house, he was running around with his shirt off, trying to impress Rosie.

What do you think....arranged marriages for pilot children?

Rosie and Kaden hamming it up

If any of you pilot wives in the Atlanta area want to meet up sometime, Brittany and I would love to meet you. Or even if you live far away, come on in! We're looking forward to the Pilot Wives Club meet-up in Chicago in March. And I'll be having a birthday party the first weekend of February (as long as Taylor's schedule permits) that you're invited to attend. Email me for details.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Life Soundtrack

I voluntarily tagged myself from Brett's blog for this fun meme. Feel free to join in, and comment me when you have posted your own.

The purpose of the soundtrack is to expose friends to new or different bands and discover one another's taste in music. One should not try to analyze the lyrics to figure out the person as lyrics may or may not reflect the person's own life. For example, some songs may be included that have a particular sentimental value, may be what one was simply listening to at a particular period of one's life, or may even be chosen for the lyrical content, but that can only be discovered by asking the compiler of the soundtrack, not by attempting to analyze and figure it out on one's own. Each individual has his or her own rationale for compiling the songs that he or she chooses and it may be extremely different from your own.

1. You may choose any songs of your choosing for your soundtrack, but an artist can only appear once on your soundtrack (for example, I could not have two songs by The Smiths, but it is perfectly fine to have one song by The Smiths and another by Morrissey--who is the lead singer of The Smiths but later branched out on his own).
2. Originally the rule was to have the soundtrack fit on 2 CDs. My life is much more musically focused than most human beings, so I have allowed myself 3 CDs with a bonus EP :)


You've Got It (The Right Stuff) - New Kids on the Block
I Get Around - Beach Boys
True - Spandau Ballet
Longer - Dan Fogelberg
Horse with no Name - America
Electric Youth - Debbie Gibson
Suite Judy Blue Eyes - Crosby, Stills, and Nash
I Can't Wait - Nu Shooz
Don't Dream It's Over - Crowded House
I'll Be There - Escape Club
Sweet Dreams are Made of These - Eurythmics
Fading Like a Flower - Roxette
Every Little Thing She Does is Magic - The Police
Come Undone - Duran Duran
Dare to be Stupid - Weird Al Yankovic
(Don't You) Forget About Me - Simple Minds
I'm a Believer - The Monkees
Two Princes - Spin Doctors

Enjoy the Silence - Depeche Mode
Connected - Stereo MCs
Forever Young - Alphaville
What I Am - Edie Brickell
Black - Pearl Jam
Bizzare Love Triangle - Frente
Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
Maybe I'm Amazed - Paul McCartney
Head Over Heels - Tears for Fears
Head Over Feet - Alanis Morrisette
Inside Out - Eve 6
Something - The Beatles
Building a Mystery - Sarah McLachlan
Time in a Bottle - Jim Croce
What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
I'll Stand By You - The Pretenders
No One Is To Blame - Howard Jones
The World I Know - Collective Soul
Battle Hymn of the Republic - Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Hand Me Down - Matchbox Twenty
The Scientist - Coldplay
Why Should I Cry for You - Sting
Wicked Game - Chris Isaac
Walk On - U2
Waterloo - ABBA
Short Skirt, Long Jacket - Cake
This Love - Maroon Five
The Remedy (I Won't Worry) - Jason Mraz
Why, Georgia? - John Mayer
Something About You - Level 42
For Once in my Life - Michael Buble
In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
The Special Two - Missy Higgins
She - Elvis Costello
Atlantic - Keane
Great Things Again - Brilliant Absence
Let Go - Frou Frou
Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers
Don't Stop Believing - Journey

Bonus EP
The Statue Got Me High - TMBG
Never Tear Us Apart - INXS
How Deep Is Your Love - Bee Gees
Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
Forever - Bryan Adams
Imagine - John Lennon
Because - Dave Clark Five
Foux de Fa Fa - Flight of the Conchords

2008 Year in Review

I will not lie. 2008 was probably the most difficult of my life, right up there with 2003 (when my ex-husband went psychotic and we got divorced). To save you from reading my 249 blog entries of 2008, I have prepared my longest blog post ever to truncate the insanity of the year. Here's the rundown on what happened to me in 2008:

Jan 1, 6:00 am - Began driving cross-country to move to Canton, Michigan with my brother Jacob
Jan 4 - Moved in with the Pearce Family for two weeks awaiting our move-in date at our apartment
Jan 9 - While enrolled in 17 credits for school, began searching for full-time work
Jan 11 - Received a call that my father had been in a horrific car crash in Utah. He was taken in to a nine-hour surgery as I packed my bags and non-revved to SLC on the next available flight
Jan 12 - Appointed to by the family representative to make medical decisions for my dad
Jan 13 - Started his accident blog to keep family and friends notified (this link shows the extent of his injuries). Also told by Elder Dickson of the Quorum of the Seventy that the First Presidency of the Church was personally praying for his recovery.Word spread like wildfire and we had people all over the world praying for him.
Jan 14 - Called together a family counsel meeting with all family members, some extended family and our bishop to make a plan to run the family (groceries, paying bills, housework, etc)
Jan 16- Flew back to Detroit to prepare to move into my new apartment. Dad is trached and goes in for his third surgery. Still sedated and on life support
Jan 19 - Dad begins to breathe on his own without the ventilator, comes off much of the sedation. Rosie and I need a break, and go to California for 2 days to attend John and April's wedding reception.
Jan 21 - Dad's left leg is amputated just above the knee due to widespread necrosis. His right leg is injured, but not in as critical condition as the left.
Jan 22 - Flew back to SLC and tried to not get depressed with dad's ICU psychosis
Jan 24 - Dad is transferred out of the ICU to the 11th floor with the amazing mountain view
Jan 25 - I wait in the surgery waiting room for his "full amputation surgery" where the stump was shortened, revised and closed with sutures
Jan 26 - My friend Kathryn, a concert violist from California, gave my dad a personal concert in the hospital, and then we went out for some non-hospital girl time at the Tavernacle and Melting Pot
Jan 27 - My dear prophet, Gordon B Hinckley, passes away from incidents of old age

Feb 2
- Michigan receives a huge dumping of snow and Rosie's school is canceled. We travel into Ann Arbor for a day of frolicking and for two Fox Elipsus shows
Feb 3 - President Hinckley's funeral, and a special fast is held for my dad's recovery
Feb 4 - Thomas S. Monson is appointed the new president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and dad passes his swallow test and celebrates with a chocolate milkshake
Feb 5 - I celebrate my 28th birthday with lunch at Chili's with Taylor and a homemade cake. As the greatest gift imaginable, my dad was transferred from the hospital to Aspen Ridge Transitional Rehab, which will become his home for the next 4 months. Also have a super-fun birthday with Taylor's pilot friends and a few neighbors a few days later.
Feb 10 - Rosie and I go back to SLC for 5 days to spend with dad at Aspen Ridge. Dad gets to visit home for the first time since the accident. Taylor's beloved car, The Silver Bullet ('97 Accord) bites the dust, and he replaces it with a green 2002 Civic
Feb 19 - I go to California for 4 days of ME time. Disneyland with Grant and Hollie, Disneyland with Clint, Liz time, and a lovely day with friends with Nathan McEuen in Ventura
Feb 22 - Dad has his 6th surgery, this time on his right knee. The damage is much worse than originally expected, and the long-term prognosis for the leg's usefulness is realized.

March 3
- Have two awesome interviews at University of Michigan Medical Center, and we celebrate as a family with Turkey O'Toole's at Bennigan's
March 7 - I get offers for both jobs at U of M, and accept the postion in Thoracic Surgery
March 8 - Rosie and I take an impromptu weekend celebratory trip to Providence, Boston, and New Haven to see 3 more Fox Elipsus shows
March 13 - I ship off to Boston for 5 days of Irish fun with my Irish Princess friend Nicole, and we spend the next few days with Terawrizt, Lethal Dialect, The Bawston Strangla, and Shaymin. I come down with a nasty illness that will plague me for the next month
March 18 - Drop Cola off at the airport, and drive to Nantasket Beach to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean, before returning to Boston for a few more hours of sightseeing and flight back to Detroit
March 20 - In an impulsive moment, I agree to head up the planning committee for my 10 Year High School Reunion
March 25 - Take one last trip to SLC before taking on the shackles of full-time employment. Nathan McEuen gives my dad a concert at Aspen Ridge
March 31 - I start my job at U of M, and New Kids on the Block officially announce their reunion tour

April 16
- Saw Ben Folds in concert at Adrian College with Mike and Erin
April 20 - Went to the ER for an grapefruit-sized ovarian cyst rupture. Diagnosed with PCOS.
April 25 - Assist Utah does an evaluation of my parents' home in Murray, and decide that the renovations to the house are too extensive to warrant a renovation. They will need to find a new home.

May 5
- Began my parent-dentist relationship with Dr. Kam, who received thousands from me in the next 7 months. He did a great job, unlike my CA dentist
May 15 - Complete the most difficult school semester of my life, and have to take an incomplete on my first class ever. Flew to California for two days for Chris and Mary's wedding, a trip to the Huntington with Liz, and to celebrate Syttende Mai with Brett
May 23 - Take a two-day trip to Palmyra, NY and Niagara Falls, by way of Ontario, Canada. We stayed with Alan, my old HS boyfriend, in Rochester. He treated us to Dinosaur BBQ. Yum!

- My summertime slump. Thank you Prozac for fixing me.

- Attended Grandpa Dale Bullock's funeral, dealt with a bad month of Taylor's schedule, cut 7 inches off my hair, Lissy's twins Sarah and Phoebe were born, spent a weekend in Northern KY with my old Ricks College roommate Stacey, and I went insane planning my HS reunion. Dad is done with Aspen Ridge My parents move out of their home of 15 year on Green Oaks Drive in Murray, and move into the Brigham Apartments in downtown SLC

Aug 2
- MHS X, the high school reunion, came off much better than all the nightmares that plagued me about it for weeks. I already knew everything going on with the people that attended because I read their blogs. I relinquish the responsibility back to the class officers for the next reunion
Aug 8 - Enjoyed the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I was a total Phelps Phan.
Mid-August - . Grandma Joyce in Portland decides to sell her house and move to SLC. My parents house goes on the market. I also reconnected with a bunch of my old Balmoral ladies through blogging
Aug 30 - My coworker Kay gives me the hook-up through a friend for tickets to the Utah - Michigan football game at the Big House. We wear red. Utah wins.
Aug 31 - Receive a random, smug message from Tim, the guy I dated right after my divorce, that temporarily sends me into an emotional tailspin. (History: I was madly in love with him, we were planning our wedding, and then he suddenly breaks up with me in a email. No contact for almost 5 years, then a message at 3 am after finding my blog) Actually, this is the year that EVERY man I ever dated got in touch with me through my blog or Facebook. Even Niko from Finland. Kinda creepy. Rosie and I drive to Lansing on a whim to meet up with Taylor for the night at his crew hotel.

Sept 2
- Rosie begins 2nd grade
Sept 13 - We spend Rosie's birthday in SLC, and have a wonderful family turn out for her
Sept 21 - After months of deliberation, Taylor decides to take the CRJ-900 upgrade in Atlanta. He puts in his bid for January, he gets assigned for training in October.
Sept 22 - Taylor turns 29. One more year till 30!

Early October
- Begin revising resume and applying for jobs, and enjoy the most beautiful autumn that I've ever remembered
Oct 8 - Taylor and I celebrate our Four Year Anniversary We spend the weekend in Atlanta checking out neighborhoods and apartments, and prepare for Taylor's move to ATL.
Oct 17 - Spend a family day in HELL, MICHIGAN and go to the Christmas Store in Frankenmuth
Oct 22 - Taylor leaves for Memphis and Montreal for 10 days of upgrade training. The pilot widow lifestyle resumes...
Oct 25 - Rosie and I attend the New Kids on the Block reunion concert at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Best concert of the year
Oct 31 - Rosie and I fly to LAX to spend a warm Halloween Holiday in Cali.

Nov 7
- Have a phone interview with Emory for a position type-cast for me. A few days later I go to Altanta to have an in-person interview. Best one I've ever had.
Mid-November - I give my notice at work for mid December, and everything goes downhill fast
Nov 21 - Have a Girls Night Out with Hillary and Erin to see Twilight
Nov 25 - Start a Twitter account. Post 211 tweets in the next 5 weeks.
Thanksgiving - Road trip to Atlanta. A feast at Golden Corral, and a late dinner at Waffle House

Dec 1
- Accidentally inhaled an industrial chemical at work, and am sent to the ER for breathing treatments. Two weeks of asthma follow.
Dec 5 - I receive the job offer from Emory. Also, I blog about other significant December 5ths in my life
Dec 12 - Last day of work at University of Misery. Begin packing for 16 day trip in carry-on bags
Dec 13-15 - Snowy visit in Portland with Grandma Joyce
Dec 16-21 - Visit with family in SLC. Another ER visit. Attended Grandma Mary Taylor's funeral in Spanish Fork. Get upgraded to First Class while non-revving to LAX
Dec 22-28 - Visit with family and friends in Cali
Dec 29 - Pack up my apartment in Michigan
Dec 30-31 - Drive with a loaded car from Detroit to Atlanta, overnighting in Knoxville
Dec 31 - Ring in the new year with Taylor, Rosie, Hank, and Marissa in Atlanta

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