The Water Heater Adventure

Ever since we moved here our water heater has been wonky. The hot water just doesn't last very long. Jon will tell you it last five minutes, but that's because he boils himself in the shower. I say it lasts a little longer. However, I've always had to choose between washing my hair and shaving my legs during each shower. There isn't enough hot water for both.

Jon said it was getting worse, so Saturday morning he went to the apartment office and turned in a work order. A few hours later, a twelve year old maintenance kid showed up. Now our apartment in Texarkana didn't have a water heater, as far as we knew. I think the building shared several large ones somewhere underground or something. (Seriously.) Apparently we do have one here. He came in and said it was in our pantry. Eh?
Here's a nice photo of what our pantry looks like.

It even has a nice little shelf over on the right side to store more things. It goes as deep as the washer/dryer which are in the adjoining closet. It's great.

The maintenance kid opened the pantry and I said "Oh. Sorry. We have a lot of stuff in there." (Meaning the brooms and ladder.) He said "Yeah. Everything from HERE (pointing at the TOP shelf) down needs to come out. I smiled at his joke and moved the brooms and ladder out of the way. When I turned around, he was pulling all of the food off of the shelves. He wasn't joking.
He started at the next to top shelf and I was pushing the stuff to the opposite end of the table as he went (wishing I had taken a picture of the pantry before he started), so it would stay in order, because I wanted everything right back where it was. When he got to the canned food shelf, the same time we ran out of space on the table, I took over and did the rest.

Here's the pantry completely empty. Except for the top shelf of course.

That's not just a nice shelf in the pantry. It hides a secret passageway to Narnia. I mean the water heater.

Here's most of our food out of the pantry, on the kitchen table.

And here's the rest of the food in a laundry basket.

And the other random things that were on the floor below the bottom shelf and over on the side leaning against the Secret Wall.

The best part though was what he told us a few minutes later. He said the water heater was actually leaking and we needed a new one. He called the office and they said they couldn't get one until Monday. So our food sat out on the table and laundry basket Saturday and Sunday. Luckily we were both off Monday, but it didn't matter. Monday afternoon they still hadn't come, so I called the office and they said it might be Tuesday morning because it hadn't come in yet. We had to close Jack into the bathroom on Tuesday because they won't come in if there's a dog out, and I didn't want him to have to be in his kennel all day. Tuesday came. Tuesday left. No water heater. Jack went BACK into the bathroom today. They finally came this afternoon and replaced it, and all of our food went back in the pantry after five days of super easy access to it.
It was nice to be able to slightly reorganize some of my ridiculous placement of food on certain shelves when we moved in, though. And we have hot water. So yay.

Hardest LOST Quiz Ever!

According to somebody, this is the hardest LOST quiz ever. If you love LOST, you should try it. Here's how I did...

Not awesome, but it was REALLY hard! At least I was in the top 50%! Let me know how you do if you take it!

Woooooo! Hoooooo!

Yes! Such a wonderful surprise! I didn't think it could happen, but it did! David Cook won American Idol Season Seven! I have loved this guy pretty much the whole season. I'm so proud of him!
The other best moment of the night:

Carly and Michael were a-mazing together. They should just get married and make beautiful little babies with incredible singing talent. They could be the next von Trapps. Anyway, they should have easily made it to top three, if not final two, with Carly, of course, winning. Cleary the producers agreed about Michael based on how much screen time and how many solos he had. I didn't complain.
I can't wait to see what they, as well as David Cook, come out with. I'll be buying. Until then, I'm off to iTunes, which I finally got working on my computer again, to buy some more of this year's singles from those three artists. I'll be back next January for Season 8 of American Idol!

And on a completely unrelated note, do any of you girls in Little Rock watch Grey's Anatomy and want to invite me over to watch the finale with you tomorrow night? Thanks and thanks.

David vs. David

It's what everyone is talking about right now. Or at least me. Here are my thoughts about the whole American Idol Season Seven finale, voting, and such.
First, that opening with the boxing business was ridiculous. Did you notice, though, that they said they were fighting for a title reserved only for the best then showed Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Chris Daughtry?! In case you missed it, he came in FOURTH place. That was pretty weird.
I've been a fan of David Cook's since the beginning. Since my girl Carly left, I've been voting for him every week, as I did last night. I think he's just a better overall performer than David Archuleta. Now I've never said that I don't think Archie sings well, because he does. He has a great voice, but he is just SO boring! It's the same slow ballad every week. The one time he tried to sing an upbeat song (last week: My Boo) he failed miserably. David Cook rocks my socks off. He's a better interviewee. He has more personality. He's bold. He has self confidence. I can't say any of that about David "Aw, Shucks" Archuleta. Good kid. Great voice. Not great performer.
David Cook SHOULD win, but I really think that David Archuleta WILL win. And here's why.
I've been going back and forth about how I think voting is going to go. Based on the fact that two weeks ago, ol' Ryan told us that when there were four people left, the top three (Davids and Syesha) were only one million apart each. Jason's votes seemed to probably be split between the Davids (since Syesha went home), with (I'm guessing) more toward Cook. Now the determining factor, you would think, would be where Syesha's votes would go. I think Syesha's fans are more likely to vote for Cook, making him come out on top. Archie's fans are clearly preteens and grandmas. I thought that it would also help Cook that his demographic (probably around 18-40 year olds) is so large and have been watching American Idol for a while. Something big hit me last night, though. As I was calling in to vote, I was getting a busy signal quite a bit. Somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of my calls were going through, so much of my time was spent with votes that don't count. However, based on what I know about teengers, the 12-17 year old voters all have unlimited texting on their phones. That means every one of their votes counts, because there's no busy signal on texts. I think that fact alone may push Archuleta to win. Hopefully not, but that's what I'm thinking.
It really may be better for Cook not to win though, because then he won't be forced to sing the horrible stuff Idol makes their winners sing for the first year. He will be allowed to sing whatever he wants, and make him more likely to be successful (see: Daughtry). Either way, I think he'll have the most mainstream success of this year's contestants. Hopefully Carly too.
Who do you pick?

Birthday Part Three and Four

Since I wanted to watch American Idol on my birthday, Jon and I went out on Friday. I could pick where, but since I spent almost the whole day outside with D on Friday, I didn't want to have to come home and clean up, so I just picked an outside activity. We went to the Arkansas Travelers (double A) minor league baseball game.

The opening act was midget wrestling. Midget. Wrestling.

Also, Belvis... Black Elvis

It was a popular night, so we ended up sitting on the grass in right field.

It is a nice little stadium.

My friend Brandie was there and her dad works for one of the sponsors of the team and had really great seats. We got to sit with her after a few innings.

Plus we got a closer look at Belvis.

When we were about to leave, I noticed that somebody had been having some fun in the bathroom stall I had gone into.

Sunday after church we went to Jon's parents' house for Birthday IV!
Candice and Wes had taken Alyssa Kate to some place that had face painting the day before.

We had homemade potato soup and homemade carrot cake, both by my request. They were delish.

Then Alyssa Kate helped me blow out my candles.
Such a cutie! (And almost a big sister!)

Dear KARK 4,

I finally got around to watching Thursday's ER season finale tonight. I have enjoyed this show for fourteen years now. Although I am kind of tired of it, I still enjoy watching it. I had heard that something major happened at the end of the episode and I was anticipating seeing it. You, as my local provider of NBC television, have been consistent with good service to me in my 10 months of living here in Little Rock. However, I was not happy tonight when, in the last 30 seconds of Thursday's ER, this happened:

I wonder if the person in your control room just wasn't paying attention and thought that "Abby walking down the street" was the end of the episode, rather than the typical "Ending Credits." Next time, maybe you should have your director prescreen the episode preceding the news to make sure that they know when the episode is actually over. Also, I would like your director to please send me the last 30 seconds of the show so I can know what caused that ambulance to explode.
Thank you,

That Clever Guy

After I opened Jon's presents to me tonight, he said I had one more that he'd hidden and I'd find it sometime tonight or at the latest tomorrow morning. I pushed back the shower curtain tonight and this is what I saw...

I listen to my iPod on its speakers while I'm in the shower. That clever guy. Thanks, babe!

The Day of Birth

Hey! It was my birthday today! Last night before I left the boss fam's house I said something to the effect of "Tomorrow's my birthday. I don't want to clean your house." So I didn't. I slept late, but not before two people called and two people texted to wake me up to tell me Happy Birthday. I slept super late. Throughout the day I got four more texts, two more phone calls, 17 facebook comments, one MySpace message, and one card in the mail. It was my most acknowledged birthday ever! It was pretty great.
I got ready and headed out for a pretty good day.

I got a coupon for a free birthday sandwich from Schlotzsky's. I love that place but don't go there much because it's not much for how much you pay for it.

Yay free sandwich!

Then I headed out to the Scholastic Warehouse sale where everything is 30-80% off.

That place is huge! (And the whole building isn't even in the picture!)

This morning I googled "Places that give you free stuff on your birthday" and got myself a coupon for a free "Love it" (a.k.a. medium) ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery! Score!

After picking up the kids and staying with them until I took C to scuba (yes, scuba) I went and picked up my ice cream, which I enjoyed late tonight with no makeup and lots of chins.

When I got home, Jon had bought me flowers, as well as a cheesecake! (Sorry. Didn't take a picture of the cheesecake.) I told him I just wanted to eat Taco Bueno and watch American Idol tonight and we could go out on Friday for a celebration. So that's what I did.

This is what else he gave me. Three excellent movies and some pearl earrings!

Birthday Weekend

My mom's birthday is May 11th. Mine is May 13th. About every other year, one of our birthdays is on Mother's Day. It was her turn this year. I went to visit them in Fort Worth this weekend for our birthdays.

I pulled out my new camera when I got there Thursday night since she hadn't seen it yet, but she didn't want me to take a picture of her.

On my dad's birthday weekend in March, he and my brother went and got matching tattoos. I was mad they went without me because I wanted to document it. They couldn't wait to get them. This is what it looks like on my dad's old man back.

My mom offered me my first present on Friday night, because it probably needed to be exchanged.

She got me an external hard drive for my computer (because it is COMPLETELY full) and we exchanged it for one that was three times bigger for just $10 more!

I got the rest of my presents on Saturday night after we all went out to dinner.

A hummingbird feeder, a second battery for my camera, and a UV filter/lens protector for the camera. I also got $150 total from my two grandmothers. (This picture came out oddly blurry. Only the top focused.)

We had turtle cheesecake for my birthday cake! And I tried out my no-flash setting.
Candles = the way my family has always done them... 2 + 7 = 27!

Late that night we played CatchPhrase and my mom was having trouble giving a clue.

Then it was really funny when she couldn't figure out my clues.

On the way there on Thursday night I noticed these weird yellow things all over the freeway. It looked like a truck carrying a bunch of the lines on the road was losing their load. They were on the other side of the freeway too when I went back home Sunday. It was weird.

In Case You Didn't Know...

First, sorry about the laziness in posting recently. There are a bunch of things I've wanted to post, but haven't. I was also in Fort Worth all weekend for Mother's Day/Mom's birthday/my birthday, but more on that later.

In case you didn't know, if a wooden spoon happens to fall through the drawer in the dishwasher and make it to the bottom, it is possible for it to land on the heating element, start burning, make the kitchen start to smell, and make you think "Who's burning marshmallows?" or for your husband to ask "Are you making sausage?"

Ho Day Oh Day Oh Day Ah Ay...

For as long as reality shows have been around, I've compared contestants' looks to other people. This season on Survivor, it seems the contestants look like cartoon characters.

Erik looks like Shaggy.

Natalie looks like (is) The Grinch.

The finale is this Sunday, so who do you like? (I LOVE Amanda... now that James, who was my favorite before, is now gone.)

Jack's Weird Belly

I haven't mentioned the dog in a while. This weird thing happened. During the first few weeks that we had Jack (when he was about 4 months old), he had really dark spots on his belly:

Within a few weeks, it faded to the same color as the skin around it and has stayed that way. I took this picture of him in the middle of March (because I walked in the room and he was laying this funny way), before the whole hospitalization business started:

He stayed with Jon's parents for most of the three weeks and when we got him back, his belly looked like this again:

So weird! He spent much of the time at the Sumners' house outside with the other dogs, but I don't know what that would have to do with it. That, and the fact that he was eating a different kind of food while there, was the only thing that was different about him being there. It's very slowly fading, but I'd love to know what caused it. Weird dog.