:: Always the Freak ::

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness"
:: welcome to Always the Freak CLICK HERE FOR THE NEW BLOG HOME: ATF v2.0 | | ?WHO IS JENN? |

Taste of San Diego, 9/2006
At the yummalicious Dussini in the Gaslamp.




[::..archive..::]
:: ARCHIVES
[::..ABOUT ME..::]
Just Watched:
Reading:
[::..Dailies..::]
:: A Work In Progress::
:: Bacon & Ehs::
:: ectophensis ::(Taco Shop Psychic)
:: Geese-A-Plenty::
:: Grillboy.net ::
:: Insignificant Thoughts ::
:: Crazy Island ::
:: Leftbanker ::
:: Outhouse Rag::
:: Tyler ::
:: xxcentrik ::
[::..Sometimes..::]
:: Six Different Ways ::
:: Sam-I-Am ::
:: Freak Girl ::
:: Easily Amused::
:: Badmouth::
:: Picnic, Lightning::
:: In Passing ::
:: Home Brew Adventures ::
:: KAYMC ::
[::..JenBoggles..::]
:: The Jencyclopaedia ::
:: Jenn Blogs ::
:: All Things Jen(nifer)::
:: Jen Bennett ::
:: Jenny Apple ::
:: Jen Speaks ::
:: Piehole ::
:: SnarkSpot ::
:: Very Big Blog ::
:: The Working Mom ::
:: Welcome to Jennville ::
:: What's Brewing ::
Listed on BlogShares
[::..Funny as Hell..::]
:: Stocker Mentality ::
:: Interesting Google Searches ::
:: PEEP Research ::
:: Cockeyed Science ::
:: Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About ::
:: Nude Carrot Man ::
:: Something Awful ::
[::..NASCAR..::]
:: NASCAR.com ::
:: Jimmie Johnson Fan Club ::
:: Lowe's Racing ::
:: Hendricks Motorsports ::
:: Jimmie Rules 2 ::
[::..Stuff I Like..::]
:: Pinball Promo Plastics::
:: Fellow Jeopardy Junkies, CLICK HERE! (This is Jennings)::
:: Found Magazine ::
:: My Wishlist ::
:: Jersey Girl Diary ::
:: Placebo Productions ::
:: Nick's NTN Site ::
:: News Askew ::
:: Honeyslide ::
:: Neil Gaiman ::
:: RoadsideAmerica ::
:: Everquest.com ::
:: Bored.com ::
:: WalMart Watch ::
:: My stupid personality test results ::
[::..Audiobooks..::]
11/07/2006
7 ~ The Innocent Man,
John Grisham
09/30/2006
8 ~ The Lovely Bones,
Alice Seebold
09/26/2006
6.5 ~ Rage,
Jonathan Kellerman
09/22/2006
8 ~ Girls in Pants,
Ann Brashares
09/15/2006
9 ~ Twelve Sharp,
Janet Evanovich
09/06/2006
7 ~ The Icon,
Neil Olson
08/20/2006
10 ~ Daughter of Fortune,
Isabel Allende
04/15/2005 7.5 ~ Envy,
Sandra Brown
04/12/2005
7.5 ~ The Crush,
Sandra Brown
04/13/2005
6.5 ~ The Conspiracy Club,
Jonathan Kellerman
03/08/2005
4 ~ Double Homicide,
The Kellermans
01/26/2005
5 ~ Courting Trouble,
L Scottoline
01/25/2005
1 ~ Full House,
J Evanovich
12/02/2004
10 ~ Small Town,
L Block
12/02/2004
3 ~ Darkly Dreaming Dexter,
J Lindsay
11/08/2004
5 ~ Cold Case,
S White
11/08/2004
8 ~ Four to Score,
J Evanovich
09/27/2004
9 ~ The Last Juror,
J Grisham
09/09/2004
0 ~ The Taking,
D Koontz
09/02/2004
7 ~ The Last Girls,
L Smith
08/31/2004
7 ~ Brave New World,
A Huxley
08/31/2004
4 ~ The Virgin Blue,
T Chevalier
08/31/2004
7 ~ Therapy,
J Kellerman
08/12/2004
3 ~ Good Faith,
J Smiley
08/12/2004
8 ~ The Survivor's Club,
L Gardner
06/29/2004
6.5 ~ The Second Summer of the Sisterhood,
A Brashares
06/29/2004
7 ~ Portrait in Sepia,
I Allende
03/29/2004
6.5 ~ Thr3E,
T Dekker
03/22/2004
6.5 ~ Blue Highways,
W Least Heat Moon
03/05/2004
8.5 ~ The Face,
D Koontz
03/05/2004
6.5 ~ Eyre Affair,
J Fforde
01/12/2004
8 ~ The Murder Book,
J Kellerman
01/12/2004
7 ~ A Cold Heart,
J Kellerman
01/02/2004
7 ~ Ambush at Fort Bragg,
T Wolfe
12/12/2004
5 ~ The Beach House,
J Patterson
12/12/2003
10 ~ The Bonfire of the Vanities,
T Wolfe
11/12/2003
10 ~ To Kill A Mockingbird,
H Lee
11/04/2003
6 ~ The Brethren
J Grisham
11/03/2003
5 ~ Hemlock Bay,
C Coulter
10/21/2003
8.5 ~ Jonathan Livingston Seagull,
R Bach
10/21/2003
6 ~ The Old Curiosity Shop,
C Dickens
10/14/2003
7.5 ~ The Sisterhood..
Traveling Pants,
A Brashares
10/01/2003
1 ~ Isle of Dogs,
P Cornwell
10/01/2003
9 ~ The All True Travels...Lidie Newton,
J Smiley
[::..Movie Grades..::]
10/2006
5 ~ Crash
09/2006
9 ~ Rent
09/2006
7.5 ~ Little Miss Sunshine
08/2006
10 ~ Talladega Nights
07/2006
9 ~ Cars
12/02/2004
0 ~ The Grudge
12/02/2004
7 ~ The Incredibles
12/02/2004
4 ~ Ray
12/02/2004
8.5 ~ National Treasure
12/01/2003
7.5 ~ Timeline
12/01/2003
4 ~ Haunted Mansion
11/03/2003
2 ~ The Hulk
10/12/2003
7 ~ Kill Bill, Part One
07/08/2003
7 ~ Terminator 3
07/08/2003
6.5 ~ Bruce Almighty
06/03/2003
6.5 ~ Amelie
06/03/2003
8.5 ~ The Italian Job
06/10/2003
6.5 ~ Matrix Reloaded
04/29/2003
6.5 ~ Identity
04/29/2003
6.5 ~ Anger Management
04/01/2003
6.5 ~ Dreamcatcher
03/25/2003
4 ~ The Banger Sisters
03/18/2003
4 ~ Bringing Down the House
03/18/2003
6 ~ Tears of the Sun
02/25/2003
5 ~ Daredevil
02/09/2003
7 ~ How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
01/24/2003
8 ~ Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets
01/10/2003
2 ~ Mr. Deeds
01/10/2003
5.5 ~ Lord of the Rings: TTT
01/10/2003
7 ~ Star Trek: Nemesis
11/12/2002
1 ~ The Transporter
10/29/2002
6 ~ One Hour Photo
09/04/2002
6 ~ Goldmember
08/27/2002
8.5 ~ Signs
08/13/2002
6.5 ~ Bloodwork
08/13/2002
5.5 ~ Vanilla Sky
08/13/2002
5.5 ~ Monster's Ball
08/7/2002
7.5 ~ Interstate 60
08/7/2002
7.5 ~ Escape From New York
08/7/2002
4.5 ~ Elvira's Haunted Hills
07/30/2002
4 ~ K19
07/17/2002
6 ~ The Bourne Identity
07/17/2002
5 ~ Halloween (8?)
07/8/2002
7 ~ Men In Black 2
06/25/2002
8 ~ Minority Report
06/18/2002
6 ~ Scooby Doo
06/11/2002
4 ~ Undercover Brother
06/11/2002
7 ~ The Sum of All Fears
05/28/2002
8 ~ Insomnia
05/21/2002
7 ~ Star Wars, Episode II - Attack of the Clones
05/14/2002
9 ~ Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone
05/14/2002
4 ~ Snow Dogs
05/14/2002
1 ~ Gosford Park
05/06/2002
6 ~ Spiderman
05/06/2002
6 ~ Jason X
04/30/02
3.5 ~ Murder by Numbers
04/16/02
7 ~ Panic Room
04/09/02
7 ~ Van Wilder
03/26/02
5 ~ Ice Age
03/12/02
4.5 ~ The Time Machine
03/05/02
2 ~ We Were Soldiers
02/28/02
7.5 ~ Blackhawk Down
02/19/02
7 ~ A Beautiful Mind
02/19/02
5 ~ Hart's War
02/12/02
4 ~ Collateral Damage
02/12/02
2 ~ Mothman Prophecies
02/12/02
7 ~ I Am Sam

:: Thursday, September 30, 2004 ::



Honey Teddy Grahams are yummy!

:: Jenn 4:53 PM [+]

::
...
:: Wednesday, September 29, 2004 ::
Almost 5pm.

Just in case you didn't figure it out.. this has been a busy couple of days. They are making me work my butt off... no, not literally, although that would be good. I'm exhausted and ready to head home.

Last night I got to hang out with my buddy Nick and play some NTN finally. YEA! I always have so much fun when I do that. I need to have that night out thing every once in a while. Keeps me from getting too dependent on the whole marriage thing.

While I'm a pretty independent person, even I can get dependent on a partner if I allow myself to do so. I have my needy side. So, it's important to me to have friends and a life and do some things on my own or with friends when Mr. San Diego isn't with me. I'd like to see him do that, too. Although, come to think of it, if I was sitting home while he was doing something else, I might get bitchy. HAHAHA HELL YEAH, it's a double standard... do I care? No. heh

:: Jenn 4:44 PM [+]

::
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:: Monday, September 27, 2004 ::
More copycat stuff...

SO there's this little "What I've Done" thing going around... you know, where you write the whole list down and then bold those items that fit you? So, I did this 200 question what I've done list that I found at Thymewise.

What I've Done
Okay... the ones in bold, I've done. So there ya go...

01. Bought everyone in the pub a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins (I almost did this, but the waves were so big, I couldn't reach them.)
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Done a striptease...

and if you wanna, you can read the rest of it here, but if you don't wanna... you don't gotta.

:: Jenn 4:59 PM [+]

::
...
Weekend Update

The Drive In was fun. Something different. We saw 2 movies for six bucks each and brought our own dinner, popcorn, sodas and beer. Kinda cool. We weren't as impressed with Sky Captain as we expected to be, so that was a disappointment. But, the second movie was Without A Paddle and that was hilarious. Dumb-funny, but cracked my ass up. We even took pics of us and the place for our "first Drive-In Movie" scrapbook page! haha We're corny that way.

Saturday was my friend's wedding FINALLY. haha There is a definite air of relief when all the stress is over - not just for the couple, but for their friends, too! it went off pretty good. Not as good as MINE, of course, but it was nice. They had a fire three days before that burned a lot of the palm trees around the location and even the gazebo that she was married in, but they had it cleaned up and the gazebo had a nice fresh coat of paint on it. She appeared to be extremely nervous. She said her vows so quickly and apparently she was puking all day. I hope that wasn't related to cold feet! It was nice, though. Oh.. a funny thing. She invited "inappropriate, loud, obnoxious co-worker girl" (I,L,O C G)- the one I talked about making the "f'ing Ho" comment in a restaurant. OH brother... AFTER the ceremony, as my friend was walking back up the aisle with her new husband, she hollered her name and when my friend looked at her, she did the "WHoo WHoo" Raising the roof thing. My friend has told me how this chick does this ALL day long at work and how annoying it is. I almost died. Later I,L,O C G and another of their co-workers were sitting at the main bar in the middle of the restaurant part of the facility SHRIEKING at each other. I didn't even stop long enough to hear what it was they were being so loud about. How embarassing.

After the wedding we headed to our poker buddy's house and played poker and stayed overnight there. We headed home first thing Sunday morning so we could watch the race. It was a pretty good race and I have to admit that this "Chase for the Title" thing is exciting, but I'm getting bummed that Jimmie isn't doing all that well. He came in 10th, but that is painful when so many of the guys in the chase are coming in ahead of him, especially after last weeks debaucle. I just have to hope each week that things get better for him, but I'm bummed - only 8 races left and he's down to 5th in points. Phooey.

All in all. Nice weekend. Good friends, family, food & fun. Today was certainly a rude awakening... not a nice day, but when you're that busy and that stressed, time flies... it's almost time to go home! Gotta get the Manwiches done, open some beers and settle in for some Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football. Yeah, you guessed it... Monday is Mr San Diego night and I'm a good, supportive wife... most of the time. heh

:: Jenn 4:30 PM [+]

::
...


last week I finished listening to John Grisham's The Last Juror. I was very impressed. The first notable thing about this story is that while there is some courtroom time, it is NOT about a court case or a lawyer, etc, like many of Grisham's books. Grisham is a fine writer, but in this story about a small southern town and it's very young, very green newspaper editor/writer, he outdid himself. I'll warn that it doesn't have as much "excitement" and "suspense" as you occasionally find in his courtroom thrillers. It's more laidback than those, although there is some suspense and a touch of blood and gore. This story is about people. It's about a town that changes over time and the townsfolk who change with it - some with relish and some kicking and screaming. It's about Willie Trainer, the newspaper owner who comes to town, an outsider, buys the newspaper, and over time gains the respect, loyalty and love of the town he serves. The true beauty of this book, though, is the incredible way that Mr. Grisham introduces you to the characters and the townspeople. Each character in this book is a story finely woven. You're not reading/hearing that Joe Blow eats eggs for breakfast and is wearing black pants and a blue shirt. You learn about these people: their past, their present, and you look forward to their future. The writing is masterful in the creation of characters that we care about, are interested in and who shape this story. When I finished the story, I actually left the radio off for the rest of my ride home just so I could think about what a wonderful story it was and how much I enjoyed it.

Following Grisham's other non-courtroom drama's, specifically A Painted House, I see his talent is truly in character development. But, while A Painted House was good, it wasn't like this story. This had a much more satisfying plot, filled with wonderful characters, and an end that was somewhat expected, but that provided an end to a tale and to an era. I recommend this story. The narration was wonderful. Don't go into it expecting the same old Grisham, though. Go into it expecting a good story about people who touch you. I'm going with a 9 here.

:: Jenn 9:41 AM [+]

::
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:: Thursday, September 23, 2004 ::
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

You gotta read this! HAHAHAHAHA Link found on Grillboy's site.

:: Jenn 9:02 AM [+]

::
...
:: Wednesday, September 22, 2004 ::
Stuff That Happened on my Birthday

~September 22, 1968 Karri Ward, adoptee, born in Missouri... she's looking for her birth parents.
~September 22, 1968 WWWF World Champion Bruno Sammartino defeated George Steele
~September 22, 1968 Iraq adopts constitution
~September 22, 1968 Zond 5 completes flight
~September 22, 1968 Solar Eclipse in Lake Balhash, settlement of Sary-Shagan
~September 22, 1968 1st broadcast of KMTC (now KDEB) TV channel 27 in Springfield, MO (IND)
~September 22, 1968 Kathy Whitworth wins LPGA Kings River Golf Open
~September 22, 1968 First telecast of "Land of the Giants"
~September 22, 1968 "Miss Bardahl" won the San Diego Cup race
~September 22, 1968 The Twins' Cesar Tovar became the second player in MLB history to play all nine positions in one game
~September 22, 1968 Hey Jude, by the Beatles, was #1 on the charts

:: Jenn 2:20 PM [+]

::
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:: Monday, September 20, 2004 ::
Flooding

I guess everyone knows about all of the flooding going on back east. Yesterday a friend sent us a link to some pictures that were taken of the aftermath of a pinball tournament (my friend came in 3rd in the World's Best Pinball Player Tournament). It was held in the Pittsburgh area and the flooding destroyed MANY Pinball and video games, some very rare or imported. The flood level went so high that the pins were covered and even floated around, some ending up on their sides when the havoc was over. I had no idea that the flooding could go so high in a populated area like that and I can only imagine how many people lost everything in their homes. It's just devastating. Anyway, this is what happened to the pinball games. I guess compared to losing your home, it isn't much, but to the people who have worked to find some of these rarities and who have collected these games over the years, this is a horrible blow, too.

:: Jenn 2:52 PM [+]

::
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Monday Monday

I'll attempt to refrain from writing too many of those loooong boring personal posts. heh Had a great weekend. Celebrated my "pseudo-birthday" on Saturday with a BBQ at our house. Mr. San Diego's family and my dad and his girlfriend came. Mr SD gave me waaaaaaaaaaay too many presents. That was fun. Apparently I have two more coming on my REAL birthday on Wednesday. FUN!

Yesterday the race wasn't bad, but I was bummed that with the points reset, Jimmie is back in 5th place after his 11th place finish. No bueno. But the points are all so close together now. And, it could have been worse like Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, and Jeremy Mayfield not finishing the race at all! Nine races to go. I'm sure Jimmie will do great and if he doesn't make it, well, whatcha going to do? I think that they should have differentiated a little bit more between the drivers points, though. I understand why there was only five points between each spot, but at the same time, it was sort of unfair to those people who were a great deal ahead of others. But I guess it would have also been unfair to people like Jr, who was only something like 1 or 3 points behind Jimmie. I guess this is a learning experience and it's new so we gotta see how it goes. It does create some excitement and nervousness though!

All in all... great weekend. Yesterday was very relaxing and we finally got to see Kill Bill Vol 2. I'm thinking that I want to go to a drive in, though. I'm going to try to set up a surprise night at the drive in with Mr. San Diego for next Friday. I'm not telling him, I'm going to make a picnic dinner, bring an ice chest of cold beer and drive us there to surprise him. Let's see if it all works out as planned. There's a first time for everything!

:: Jenn 9:48 AM [+]

::
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:: Friday, September 17, 2004 ::
My Ex-husband

This is a little story about my Ex-Husband. I think I may have mentioned many moons ago (and while I prefer to forget this, it is a part of my history and has been part of shaping me into who I am, so I will admit it, regretfully) that I cheated on my ex-husband. Prior to being married, I made the mistake of cheating on him and somehow - I can't remember how - I ended up telling him about it. We split for a time and while we were yelling at each other about this, he said something to me that is one of those things I haven't forgotten. He said, "I'm going to be somebody someday and I thought you were going to be there by my side. You're going to be sorry that you did this to me, because I'm going places and you aren't going there with me." Well, obviously, we did end up back together because we ended up marrying and shortly later divorcing.

The real reason that we divorced was that we were sooooooo different. But, in the time we were together, I stood by his side as he decided on a career change from roofing contractor to firefighter. I mean that was exciting, right? We had moved to the mountains and bought a house and he became a paid call firefighter on his off-work hours. It was all good. But then a full time firefighter position opened and he, along with all of the other (LONG TIME!) paid call firefighters applied for the job. We figured it would be good experience for when a position came along later because everyone knows that some Joe Blow off the street, who never even THOUGHT of being a firefighter, let alone trained for it would get a position like that and in the desireable location where we lived. One wouldn't think that Joe Blow would stand a chance against a handful of guys who had been doing the job for years and who had already sent themselves through the Academy. But, low and behold, he passed the test. Well, good for him! Now he'll get a chance to try out the physical so that next time, he'll know what to expect... except he passed that, too. And, then we studied for weeks with my interviewing him nightly and he did it. He interviewed and got hirred and they paid to send him through the academy. There were people in our town not so thrilled with this outcome. Some were even angry. Buu my husband, did it. Like everything he tried, he was successful. Well, unless you count me. I guess that's why we don't talk so much anymore.

Throughout the academy, I did his typing for him, I helped him study. We were a team and he was a success in his classes, too. I guess it was true what he said. He was going somewhere and there I was, by his side. Until I wasn't. I won't bother with all of the stories I've probably told elsewhere. Regardless of how and why, we didn't work out and my high school sweetheart and I parted ways. It wasn't really so bad on my end. I had never dated or partied or been out of my shell and I was like a newborn discovering a world out there. Guess I didn't realize how cold that world could be, but I digress.

The point I'm getting to is this. Several years after we split, my ex, who had since remarried, had some serious back problems. He had had back problems forever, but his job was aggravating it to where he was having serious difficulties. But, he ignored it as long as he could - like he ignored the doctor telling him he needed to find another line of work. Until the day Mr. Upstanding Citizen/Responsible Member of the Workforce just couldn't do his job anymore. This was crushing to him, but he filed for Worker's Comp. He also moved far away from the area to a place with a lower cost of living. For a couple of years he battled the Worker's Comp folks until finally, he was given a pittance as a settlement because he had been told more than 3 years prior by his doctor that there was a problem and apparently there was a statute of limitations for filing once he was notified. In other words, because he tried to do the RIGHT thing (in his mind) he got screwed. He settled, knowing that he would lose if it went to court because of the statute, but since then he has been battling to get his retirement early due to medical reasons.

YOu must wonder where this long-ass story is leading. Well, I'm friends with his mom still and she just called me about some stuff and before we hung up she told me that he finally won his retirement case. I was very happy for him and said so, but she continued that she had just recently returned from visiting him and that he isn't doing good. I knew he had some other (possibly stress-related?) health problems over the last few years, but she said that he looks really old, is almost bald and terribly skinny. She said he looks just awful and he seems unhappy except for getting his settlement. (I already know that his wife is not a very nice person and she isn't happy being the sole support of the family for all of these years) And, he can't work. For someone with such a high work ethic like he had, that has to be rough.

I find myself remembering those words of long ago and I feel so sad for him. Part of me is glad I'm not the wife supporting him and caring for him in a place so far away from my family and the other part of me just feels sorry for him. The only places he went was far away and downward. And, me? I went down a path I never expected, but it's good. I found someone wonderful and my life is full and rich.

One last thing. I've had three dreams about him this week, which is so weird. I haven't dreamt of him in a long long time. I'd call him, but I don't know his number. I mean, I've known the guy since I was 7 - he'll always be my friend.

:: Jenn 2:52 PM [+]

::
...
Travel Planning

I'm planning my next vacation. I got one of my birthday presents from a friend last night and she was sweet enough to pick something from my Amazon wishlist. YEA! It's the Eyewitness Top Ten Guidebook for Amsterdam! We're going to Amsterdam. I'm excited about going there and have wanted to go there for some time. Mr. San Diego is less excited and doesn't get that I want to go to ONE place for a week. So, to make him happy, I'm considering spending only half of the week in Amsterdam and doing a side trip to encompass Luxembourg and Brussels. The nice thing about Europe is the public transport is soooo nice and EASY!

The only negative is that it's real expensive, I'm finding out, and of course I want to go in April so I can see the Daffodils! Which means it's high season. I don't think I've ever traveled anywhere during high season. I never worry about seasons because no matter when I go anywhere, it rains. heh Anyway, I'm on an Amsterdam kick now and doing research. Wheeeeeeeee I'm in my elelment when I'm planning a vacation. I so hate being this poor and not being able to do the trips I used to do, so I need this trip! NEED, I say!

:: Jenn 1:38 PM [+]

::
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:: Thursday, September 16, 2004 ::
The Spice of Life

As I've mentioned a few times, I have an Amazon.com addiction. I was looking at a couple of the reviews I had done, and was curious to see what others had said about a couple of Dean Koontz books I had reviewed.

I read through some reviews and am now sort of cracking up at how different we truly are. I guess I was thinking that others who were Dean Koontz fans would like the same books as I do, but it was so funny to read one reviewer mentioning ALL of the Koontz books I disliked as an idea of which of his books were the best! How bizarre is that? You ahve to understand that I used to be REALLY into Koontz. I have most of his pre-2000 books as signed first editions, with the exception of the really rare Sci-Fi/60s stuff. I have a REALLY good Koontz collection, in other words. But in the last few years, I've been finding his newere stuff tiresome. It's over-worded, seems churned out without much thought and the books basically seem to be written specifically for the purpose of "getting out a message" from the author. I keep reading them... I guess to try to capture some of that magic I once enjoyed, but they just haven't been that good. Except, of course The Face - which I really enjoyed, and others DIDN'T! The whole thing just really amused me. My personal favorites are Lightning, Watchers, Servants of Twilight, Midnight, Dark Rivers of the Heart, The House of Thunder, Dragon Tears, Tick Tock, Intensity, and Shattered. The ones I did NOT like were The Taking, Phantoms, One Door Away From Heaven, Hideaway, and the Christopher Snow books. In writing this and looking at lists, I'm realizing that I read some of his books like 20 years ago and I have forgotten some of the stories... Maybe I'll take a trip down memory lane and read them again. hm.

:: Jenn 10:08 AM [+]

::
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:: Wednesday, September 15, 2004 ::
Recommendy Stuff

I haven't recommended anything lately, so here goes:

~Dreamery Tiramisu Ice Cream - this stuff rocks!
~Cold Stone Creamery - I can't believe I waited so long to try their freshly made ice cream. It's amazing, if there is one near you and you like ice cream...GO THERE!
~METHOD Pomegranate Hand Soap - It smells SOOO good. I like this!
~Aquafina. Okay, I know you all know it already, but this is the BEST water in the WORLD! YUM!
~Travelocity Fare Watcher. If you want a cheap fare to a particular location, go to Travelocity, set up an account and sign up for Fare Watcher. You'll be notified via email whenever the fair hits your target price. This is a GREAT service!
~Intermezzo Magazine - this magazine ROCKS. It has lots of food and cooking, but also home/decorating, travel, etc. It is really a good magazine. Pick up a copy to check it out and I bet you'll want a subscription!

:: Jenn 2:28 PM [+]

::
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Tippage

Did you hear about this story of a guy who was arrested for not leaving an 18% tip for a party of greater than 6 people? Apparently it was a policy at the restaurant that large parties be charged a mandatory 18% tip and they guys left less than 10% because, they said, they were unhappy with the food. There's a small debate about how legite this practice is and the restaurant manager said he actually only pursued it because the patrons were jerks, in general.

Anyway, Mark & Brian were also talking about tipping on their show yesterday (or was it today? Can't remember - getting old). I only heard a small snippet of it when it caught my attention as I was changing tapes, but it got me thinking.

I consider myself a good tipper. I usually tip between 15-20% in a restuarant depending on the service that I have received. NOT based on the food, but on the service. If I get really bad service, I may leave only a small tip, if any. My friend said she tends to leave only a penny, because that way you are telling the server that you know you are supposed to tip, but that you aren't because the service was so bad. I'll probably use that in the future if I have bad service, but even when I don't have great service, I rarely have service so bad that I don't tip. On the other hand, I get ticked when I'm dining with others and they leave a crappy tip. I don't mean to be offensive, here, but I notice this most often with older people - 60s and up. I think that they didn't have the same tipping society in their upbringing as people my age and under did, but regardless of the reason, it drives me nuts and I will always leave extra on the table or hand it to the server if I see someone leave an inadequate tip in a restuarant.

The Mark and Brian show brought up some interesting points, though. That is that these days it is not just appropriate, but expected that you tip in soooo many situations. For example, if you stay in a hotel, you now should leave a tip for the person who cleans your room. I'm totally on board with that, if you're staying a week, but if I'm staying one night... sorry, no. I don't even know when and how this practice came about, but I can't see tipping someone for making my bed, when it's their job and I was only there overnight. If I'm in a hotel or condo for a week or more, than, yeah, you want to be taken care of and if you are, then say thanks. But the chick on the M&B show made a point when she asked when does the tipping stop? You tip the doorman, the bellboy, your cleaning staff... should you tip the desk clerk? Well why not? Who makes these tipping rules anyway?

For service professionals, like your masseuse or hairstylist, you should tip, but how many people do and do they tip 15-20% like a restaurant server? Not that often unless the person works in an upscale salon. My masseuse was self-employed and would not accept tips. My hairstylist is my dear friend, who always undercharges me and I always pay more... it's not really a "tip", it's just our little "money-dance". But, I'll be honest, when I get a pedicure, sometimes I only tip a buck. Of course, I'm also at a pedicure mill and they rush me in and out, rather than the laid back atmosphere of a more upscale salon where I would likely tip more. But, if I get a great pedicure... I'll tip $5 on a $15-$20 pedicure fee.

What I'm getting at is IT DEPENDS. Every situation is different and I am going to tip people for good service IF I think the service warrants tipping. I get real good service at my oil change place, but am I supposed to tip that guy? If so, oops... because I'm just not going to do that. In general, if I get great service, I'll give a great tip. Keep that in mind and SERVE ME.

:: Jenn 2:06 PM [+]

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:: Tuesday, September 14, 2004 ::
A Class Act

I'm going to preface this with a disillusioning fact about me. I can swear like a "sailor" at times. Okay, the sailor thing is a little cliche, but the truth is, I have a potty mouth. HOWEVER, this does not include talking like gutter-trash in public, in front of my grandmother, or at work (mostly). So tell me what it is that makes a 30-something-year-old, white, Minnesota bred, mother of two think it is okay to sit in a Claim Jumper restaurant and say LOUDLY "Tell that fucking ho to bring us the bill" in her best ghetto slang voice after finishing lunch?

Luckily, I was not at said lunch and got the story second hand from my friend. I know the person in question, however, and have seen her switch from her white-girl, Minnesota accent to gutter slang filth when she is with a co-worker of hers, who happens to be black and speaks with a certain "inner-city" patois. I have never heard the black friend, however, cussing in the way that this person does.

I am horrified. My friend is too embarassed to return to the restaurant and I don't blame her. I, however, would have said something to the person in question immediately had I been there and not let that slide. That is unacceptable behavior, particularly for an adult. It's a sad state of affairs when we see teens speaking this way in public, while they're hanging out in malls or skateboarding up and down the sidewalks. But, it's no wonder that they have such a lack of respect when their parents act exactly the same way. The fact that people have such disrespect for their fellow humans makes me ill.

:: Jenn 2:50 PM [+]

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:: Monday, September 13, 2004 ::
*SINGING* Secret Agent Girl....

The best part of being a secret shopper is all the free food and drinks.

The worst part of being a secret shopper is completing the narratives. Some companies are pretty easy, but this one lately, is BRUTAL. They are looooooong narratives that take me FOREVER. Hate that part. Then I get to be torn apart, getting reviewed on my review. *SIGH*

But, free food and booze, right?

Yeah, it's sorta cool.

:: Jenn 1:39 PM [+]

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:: Saturday, September 11, 2004 ::
Alrighty then

I think I'm better today.

Yesterday wasn't so great, but today is better. I did read a book yesterday. Good In Bed by Jennifer Weiner. She's one of the Jen Blogs over there and I always wanted to read her book. It was great! I cried all through the last part of it though. Not sure if it was because of the mood I was in or if I would have cried anyway. Either way, it was pretty emotional in spots for what is called "comedy"! I read, drank beer, and sobbed. It was an enjoyable read, but definitely chick lit, so I doubt you GUYS out there would enjoy it as much as I did.

When I finished it, I went shopping then made macaroni and cheese - all time best comfort food on earth. When Mr. SD got home, we had a nice night and we're spending the day together today. We're supposed to be cleaning house, but haven't done much of that yet. Right now we're cataloging Hot Wheels, then we're heading out to do some returns and hit Home Depot... YEA! We're going NOW!

:: Jenn 11:26 AM [+]

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:: Friday, September 10, 2004 ::
letter to mr. san diego

The thing is that I just don't know why I go through periods of depression or "neediness". Maybe it's just me or maybe it's common among women, or people in general. Maybe it's hormones although the timing isn't always right for us to call it PMS. Whatever it is, I have these periods of melancholy. This time it all seemed to start when we returned home Monday night after an incredible weekend. I admit it, I was hungry and being bitchy. But, I was sincere and NOT being bitchy in the suggestions I later made that apparently pissed you off or hurt your feelings or made you "feel bad" or whatever it was that I did. I'm sorry I made you feel bad and I'm sorry that I resorted to my usual tactic of yelling. Regardless, I have no idea if that night is what started the ball rolling, but I'm having a bad week. You move past things with your usual "don't sweat the small stuff" attitude that I love about you, but sometimes I wonder if you really have moved on or if inside your still thinking about how disappointing I must be.

I feel depressed and terribly lonely. I get needy when I'm like that, I know. Are you really acting distant towards me or is that just my perception because I'm psycho right now? I don't know. All I know is that I can't shake this. I KNOW you love me. I KNOW I'm being retarded, but it doesn't change the fact that I feel what I feel. I think that all it would really take would be for you to hold me tight for a while... not just a second, maybe a few minutes and kiss my face and tell me how much you love me. I think that might do the trick. I need it to be about me for a while, maybe a night. Am I horrible because I'm needy like that? You knew me before you married me and you married me anyway. I guess that's why they call it love. It will go away, but maybe it will go away a litle faster with a little help from you. I wish I could just tell you, but it doesn't work the same when I tell you, as if you just do it because you love me.

I'm sorry I can't just always be Partygirl. Sometimes I'm just a girl.

:: Jenn 11:00 AM [+]

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:: Thursday, September 09, 2004 ::
New Dean Koontz Audiobook

I love to share with you when I listen to a spectacular book on my hella long commute each day and also to warn you if the material isn't something I would recommend. Today I want to take the opportunity to tell you about Dean Koontz's new book, The Taking. I can sum it up in three words: IT. SUCKED. ASS.

DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. It has a ridiculous plot, eventually attempting to "clear things up" using a religious persepctive which just made a bad book worse. The characters were stupid and flat. The writing was terrible! It's bad enough being verbose to start with, but nwo he wants to be a Thesaurus as well?? I'm wondering if Dean thought that he oughta find an outlet for all of those big words that he's learned over the years without ever really knowing what to do with them. Or maybe it's like an assignment, "use this word in a sentence" and he tried to use them all in sentences. Whatever his goal, it fell flat and was annoying and ALMOST comical... almost. There were a couple of words that *I* didn't even know what they meant! AND, by the last painful disc, I found myself GAGGING at every TS Eliot reference. I almost wept when the end finally came. I don't know how I managed to listen to the whole thing, except I just couldn't imagine what way he could possibly end it so had to find out. That was a mistake. I should have just quit in the beginning, but how was I to know that Dean would screw over his fans like this? I knew his books were losing that spark that once attracted me, but this was freaking absurd.

I've now read a bunch of reviews on Amazon to see what others thought and of course, there is a mixture, some people actually LOVED this book, which blows my mind. Many said they thought it started good, but from the first five minutes I felt my mind wandering because there was no grab and then the story just kept getting worse and worse and PLEASE, NO MORE DOGS! Is it so much to ask that he write a book without the super-smart pooch?

Since this is MY blog and MY review scale... this one gets a zero. I might have gone with a one, but I have higher expecations of a storyteller who once was my favorite. Z.E.R.O.

:: Jenn 9:48 AM [+]

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Why September RULES

The thing about September is like ALL the cool people were born in September. Besides me on the 22nd, along with Joan Jett, Johnette, and a friend of mine, a lot of other cool folks were born in this, the best of months. Jimmie Johnson, my Nascar hero, was born on the 17th. I have a cousin with a birthday on the 13th, her dad is the 25th, and I have FOUR friends born on the 29th - one a mother and son! Keanu (cool cuz he was Ted and all) was born on the second, a boy I used to lust for was born on the 3rd and my blogging pal Tyler, with us in spirit if not in body, was born on the 4th, the same day as Paul Harvey. Patsy Cline's birthday is Septeber 8th and a favorite of mine, O. Henry celebrated on the 11th. See, LOTS of cool people were born in September... I'm just the coolest one. Oh, wait, but some NON-cool people were born in this month, too... we'll ignore those bitches.

:: Jenn 9:47 AM [+]

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:: Wednesday, September 08, 2004 ::
I'm In Awe!

I just got a killer deal on a pair of Docs I have been jonesing for. They usually go up to like $60 and I scored! WELCOME TO THE FAMILY!

:: Jenn 4:48 PM [+]

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ok.ok.ok.
(that was my Joe Pesci impression... good, huh?)


So, I write.

Today wasn't Sooooo bad, I guess. The Open House went off great and I did almost nothing for a change. I didn't even delegate. I think that was the nicest part of all - just NOT being in charge of a project for a change and actually getting to enjoy it. Another interesting thing was that at the dedication "ceremony" (ceremony used loosely), my boss actually thanked me in front of everyone for all of my work in making this new office and move go smoothly. It was FLABBERGASTING... truly. That rarely occurs as you've seen me write.

going back further...

The weekend really was great. The heat wasn't nice, but we had a blast at the races. On Saturday, we again "borrowed" someon else's seat for the Busch race as many people don't even go to the Busch race so you can actually sit in empty seats in the shaded REAL SEAT areas and that keeps it MUCH cooler. We played cards with our friends afterwards, which was mostly fun until later when people started annoying me so I slipped out to the truck to sleep while Mr. SD continued winning their money. We made out pretty good and it was nice seeing everyone. The only bummer was that SOMEONE stayed up until 3am so we didn't get up as early as we should have so we got to the track a little later than planned on Sunday.

Sunday was hot as hell and we had to sit in our own seats which are in the sun. But, it was only an hour and a half before the sun went down and we watched the rest of the race "under the lights" (said in a dramatic, deep voice). Have you noticed my using a lot of different voices today? Yeah, I thought that was weird, too, but what are ya going to do? I digress. I enjoyed the race, but was bummed at Jimmie's crappy pit stop which put him back too far to make it up to the front with all of the stupid cautions at the end of the race. Of course, with Jeff's problems, I'm back in NUMBER ONE BABY!!!!!!!! It was nice to see Rusty get a top ten for a change, though and Mr. SD liked that. We LOVED the night race, but think it should start at least an hour later. SO nice in the night air. yea. We had a great weekend, I didn't start being a total bitch until Monday night when we got home. now I'm just trying to stop being a total bitch, but it's probably a hormone thing or something. Love using THAT.. haha

My headaches are finally better as of Monday. Not completely gone, but happening less often, so I'm not calling the doc for tests just yet. Still got my T3s though... JUST IN CASE. heh

Well, my receptionists are calling... their pom poms just arrived in the mail and they want to show me their cheer. I had to order them pom poms to show them that I SERIOUSLY wanted cheerleaders at the front desk. It's how I described what I wanted the public to see or hear when they come in or call. So, I thought a little present might just give them extra incentive. It's all fun. I'm off to see the cheer... It better say something about how great I am.

:: Jenn 3:36 PM [+]

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(*whispered*) Mystery Mystery Mystery
Sorry, Personal Comments Follow


"Madonna" - That is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO unfair. Fess UP! Although I already have my suspicions. Strange how that happens. =)

Michelle - did you spill my secret!?! Hm.

*SIGH* Anonymity goes right out the window once you put up pics. hehe

:: Jenn 3:31 PM [+]

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I'm wearing pantyhose

and a suit. Open House at work. We're pretending we always look this way. I'm accepting gifts of sympathy. Try to write later. Still crabby.

:: Jenn 10:51 AM [+]

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:: Tuesday, September 07, 2004 ::
Today...

is a sucky ass day. That is all.

:: Jenn 3:04 PM [+]

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:: Friday, September 03, 2004 ::
I'm a Dork

Yesterday I can't stop posting and today I can't start. heh I'd like to say it's been a busy day at work, but I'd be lying because I've been sort of a flake most of the day. It's hard to concentrate on any work, though. I'm in this drugged out haze. My doctor was supposed to call me by today to see if my headache was gone yet (it's not-day 10). I guess I'm going to have some tests done or something.. CAT scan? I guess I'll call him.

This weekend is the Nascar Race in Fontana! YEA! I hope it's not too miserable, being SUMMER in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA! sheesh. At least Sunday's Cup race is late afternoon to night time. whew.

:: Jenn 1:45 PM [+]

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:: Thursday, September 02, 2004 ::
OH MY GOD! Literally!

I made a little typo over on the picture page. I mean little. So that one can easily return HERE, I put a link Back to Always the Freak. EXCEPT, I misspelled it. Instead of ladyjade.blogspot.com I spelled ladyjade.blogpsot.com and Holy Moly someone used my name to make a Bible study website. So I started thinking... why MY name? So I did a little research. Guess what? They have taken LOTS of Blogspot names, maybe ALL of them for all I know and used them as links to their site. INGENIOUS! That way, anyone who mispells blogspot gets their website! I KNOW I've seen it before, likely when I mispelled something (which I commonly do because I type faster than I'm able to!). Did anyone or everyone know about this already?

:: Jenn 4:07 PM [+]

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UN-believable!

I was all ready to RE-DO the picture page for August and there it was like FOUR times in my post listing. It saved as a draft without publishing! How lucky am I!?! See, it IS a good day =)

August pictures are up and they are CUTE!

:: Jenn 3:48 PM [+]

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It's all about the cotton candy...

I'm probably more excited than my nephew, but I sent him a cotton candy machine for his birthday and he just got it today. See, while my brother and family were here for the wedding, my nephew was on this total Cotton Candy Kick... he was obsessed with it! To the point that he was "playing" cotton candy seller with my cousins little girls. He kept wanting to play it for so long (over and over again), that the girls realized he's a little whacked out. hehe I love my nephew, but he is a little behind in his social development. Anyway, the thing that was weird about that was that he doesn't really do much "pretend". I saw it as a good sign. With the whole Cotton Candy fiend going on, I decided to send him a maker for his 7th birthday and did some research and picked one out from Amazon (of course). I just hope it works good. I'm glad to know that my brother and siter-in-law are cool with it, too. My nephew actually talked to me on the telephone today for the first time in like 2 years! He's like me and doesn't much lie talking on the telephone. So, it must have been a good idea if it got him to talk to his Aunt Jenn! YEA! Now, if I could get rid of this headache, this would almost be a great day!

:: Jenn 3:31 PM [+]

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Another Review

Today I finished another Audiobook, The Last Girls by Lee Smith. I liked this book. I wouldn't call it a ROMANCE novel - it was NOT, but it was sort of that style... except the writing was good. Definitely, it was a book for women, being about four women who had gone to college together some 30 odd years earlier and who had taken a raft trip down the Mississippi River with a large group of girls they went to college with. They got together for a Riverboat Cruise to have a memorial for the fifth friend, Baby, who had recently died.

The story went back and forth between the stories of the women on the trip, Baby, and a few other characters. I don't usually like all of that back and forth stuff, but it was well done and the stories of the women were interesting. One thing always pops into my mind, though, and that is why does every single person in every single story have to have some problem or secret or woe or whatever lying in the background of their psyche? I just DO NOT get this. Can't ANYONE ever be happy in their marriage, not have a deadly disease, be able to love, be loved, whatever? Is no one really happy? I understand that just reading about someone being happy might not be such a great story, but when your story is about so many people, couldn't one of them just be "normal" and "happy"? Just something I think about. Anyway, the story included a lot of history about the Mississippi and surrounding areas, which I enjoyed, but it was truly a story of women and of friendships and of how people change and how they stay the same. I was disappointed not to see more of a connection between the women who, as "girls" had been so close, but it was a nice story and I enjoyed it.

I listened to the audio version of the book and it was narrated by the author. I think you get a truer narration when the author does it because they know just the way they want you to hear it. I recommend the story to those who enjoy this type of female literature. I give it a 7.

:: Jenn 1:13 PM [+]

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20 Shopping days left! Don't miss out! hee hee

:: Jenn 9:52 AM [+]

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Damn Friggin' Computers

Last night I spent a half hour patiently putting together the August Pictures page. And when I hit PUBLISH, it started going and STOPPED, thus losing my whole post. DAMN DAMN DAMN I'll try to recreate it, witty comments and all today. =( Phooey.

:: Jenn 9:50 AM [+]

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:: Wednesday, September 01, 2004 ::
They make me work!

My Clerical Supervisor is off on a MUCH needed vacation, so I've been having to stand in for her on lots of jobs and supervising her staff. I actually used to do this job when I first started here and I liked it, but boy amd I glad I don't do it anymore. I think the saying is true... the more money you make, the less work you have. Or maybe it depends on how you define work. My work is more abstract and fluctuating, whereas her work is defined and rigid and specific. I like having some creativity and the ability to use my brain... which is stillin pain by the way and I forgot the 4pm pill... ack. It's already time to go home. Where does my day go. Bye.

:: Jenn 5:13 PM [+]

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