Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The A to Z's about Me

All about me, courtesy of Upheaval

A is for Age - 28 years, 10 months
B is for Booze - one wine cooler please, maybe two on a good night. And then it is goodnight.
C is for Cookie you crave - Snickerdoodle or Oatmeal Raisin, this is a close tie.
D is for Dating tip you'd give your son or daughter - whoa, this is a whole can of worms.
E is for Essential items to bring to a party- Catch Phrase
F is for Favorite song at the moment - God Will Lift Up Your Head by Jars of Clay
G is for Goof off thing to do - Surf the beloved World Wide Web
H is for Hometown - Dallas, TX
I is for Instrument you play - Piano, and for 2 sufferable years, I "played" the french horn. "Play is a technical term, just ask any of my fellow students in the band. They finally stuck me w/ the cowbell and tamborine. How humiliating.
J is for Jam or Jelly you like - Orange Marmalade w/ white toast. Or Strawberry Rhubarb from La Madeleine
K is for Kids - After 9 years of saying we would never have children, this just might be in our future.
L is for Living arrangement - Wow. Of all days to be answering this. As of two days ago, I am currently living with 7 other people while we are waiting to close on our new home that was SUPPOSED TO BE CLOSED ON TODAY, but I digress.
M is for Mom’s name - Lillian, which I just realized that she pronounces it Lil-yun.
N is for Name of first crush - Chris Jones. I can say this b/c there's probably 2.5 million of them.
O is for Overexposed celebrity? - Paris Hilton, in more ways than one.
P is for Phobias - Anything tight on my neck, or even worse, playing that "pass the orange" game where you pass it from your neck to somebody else's. HOW DID I EVER PLAY THIS GAME AS A KID?!?!! shudder.
Q is for Quote you like - "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." or its opposite, "If hate were people, I'd be China!!!" (funny line from City Slickers)
R is for Relationship that lasted longest - my hubby
S is for Siblings - 1 younger sister
T is for Texas, ever been? - if you haven't, shame on you. See the letter "H".
U is for Unique trait - My middle fingers both curve way over toward my pinkies. I used to play the piano w/the wrong fingering b/c of this. I guess it's not unique though b/c my dad's are the same way.
V if for Vegetable you love - Corn. Especially on salad, or at Chipotle.
W is for Worst trait - Laziness. I have Chronic Fatigue!!!!
X - is for Xtra Credit, did you ever do it in school? - Yes, and I needed it in high school (see the letter "W").
Y is for Yummy food you make - Snickerdoodles from scratch, and I love to make recipes from the coupon section of the paper, or from the internet. Betty Crocker ain't got nothin' on them.
Z is for Zodiac sign - according to Blogger, it's Leo.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 9:44 AM | 6 comments

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Not So Runaway Jury

I love John Grisham books. They are so enthralling and always soooo much better than the movie. I remember seeing The Firm when I was in high school, and it was one of the first "read the book and then saw the movie" experiences for me. It was so disappointing. I like the movie now, just not when I compare it to the book. It was the same for all of the other books by him that they turned into a movie, the last one being The Runaway Jury. The book, for those who have not yet savored it, is about the jury on a tobacco case. The movie was about a jury on a firearms case. Again, the book was better, but I digress.

So, Monday morning this week was very different than most Monday mornings. I was scheduled to appear for Jury Duty. I have done this one before, on which I spent a couple of hours there in the morning, only to be asked to return the next morning, and then not be chosen. This past Monday was very different, however. There were about 300+ of us that showed up for court, and with several cases going on, about 150 of us were chosen to go on to the next phase of jury selection, with the rest of the privileged ones sent home with the thanks of the Court.

My name was called out with the first 60 jurors chosen for a Capital Murder case. The prosecution and the defense asked questions for hours, took a break for lunch, and then asked more questions. I was not expecting to be chosen at all, but sure enough, I heard my name called at around 4:15pm, after a long day of sitting. We were asked to come back the next day, and the trial would begin.

The trial was a learning experience, to say the least. I have now had the responsibilty of deciding a man's fate- is he innocent, and should be set free, or is he guilty, to spend the rest of his young life behind bars? I have listened to witnesses, seen their bravery as they looked their (attempted) murderer in the eye. I have seen the grief of a parent trying to understand how a "monster" could take away their baby. I have seen the autopsy and crime scene photos of the evil and carnage that a human can inflict on another human being. I have seen the waste of a life, a life that did not seem to have any regrets for the unfortunate actions that occurred one year ago. I have seen those who occupy professions that I do not envy at all, professions glamorized by my favorite TV shows- CSI and Law and Order, but all to real. The detectives, the Medical Examiners, the prosecution, the Judge. They have such a difficult and real job. Too much reality for me.

As I received hugs, tears, handshakes and thanks from the victim's families for sending away the person that inflicted this evil, they are the ones that should be receiving thanks. Thank you for reminding me how precious life is, and how much I have to be thankful for. My life will go on, albeit never the same from this experience. I hope theirs will too.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 12:15 PM | 2 comments

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Darth Tater

Posted by Hello Poor Mr. Potato Head has fallen victim to the Star Wars merchandising craze...

posted by Amstaff Mom | 8:05 PM | 2 comments

The Early Bird.. Gets The Pancake

Yesterday, the hubby and I got up early I mean EARLY (for a Saturday morning at least), and went an got breakfast at Cracker Barrel. We never go to breakfast, but about a week ago, we decided it would be a neat thing to do, and it was very enjoyable. I never expected to see so many early risers at the restaurant at 6:30 am on a Saturday, but there they were, sipping their coffee bright and early. I think Cracker Barrel has the best pancakes or "panqueques" for any Spanish speakers (this happens to be my favorite Spanish word). You even get your own little bottle of maple syrup. yum. I'm sure Eddo would disagree since he even sent pictures of his Banana Macadamian pancakes, but for those of us not privileged enough to be consuming our breakfast in Hawaii, then Cracker Barrel is a good substitution.

My cousin moved in with us on Friday. He has already been a great help on our soon to be move, and it has been great getting to know him better. He needed a place to stay over the summer, and I think it is going to work out really well.

Congrats to my parents, celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary today- way to go Momma and Pops! Kudos also to Jes and Roger celebrating their 1st wedding anniversary today.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 6:51 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Proud to be an Amstaff Mom

The inspiration for my new alias Posted by Hello

Here is my Amstaff. Currently she is sleeping on approximately 5 blankets and two large doggy pillows. I am a dog lover, of any size and shape. I grew up w/ dogs under the weight of 10 pounds and now have a 55 pound walking muscle. When I was a kiddo, the elementary school that I attended was located next door to a Dallas Public Library branch. Once a week was library day, where we would take a short walk over, return our books and peruse the aisles for the next great finds. My fourth grade year, I repeatedly checked out the AKC Manual of Dog Breeds, a maroon colored, dictionary-sized description of every dog breed belonging to the AKC. I bet I checked this book out 10 times, memorizing details of dog breeds and the black and white photos that accompanied them. (Yes I was, and still am an avid reader) This was a great marriage of two of my favorite things-dogs and books. (and doorbells and sleigh rides and schnitzel w/noodles-Sound of Music moment anyone?)

My hubby and his dad always wanted this breed of dog and both of them have studied and read every dog book possible on the American Staffordshire Terrier. This breed is one of the most loyal, heroic, and good-natured dogs around, and has suffered greatly all in the name of sensationalism and bad reporting. They are used as therapy dogs, assistance dogs, and many gave their lives willingly on the battlefield, protecting and serving their fellow soldiers. They are terriers, so they are fearless and spunky. They don't always get along w/ other dogs (although many of them do) so when they do, you will always hear about it as "Breaking News" on your local channel. The "problem" with this breed is that is fiercely LOYAL to its owner. Not fierce, just loyal. If the owner happens to twist this loyalty into something evil, then yes, this breed is capable of bringing about great harm. You will hear about every one of these unfortunate instances. This breed, and its cousin, the pit bull, are not naturally aggressive to humans AT ALL. Any aggressive tendencies would be against another aggressive dog, but never a human, unless trained to do so. My Amstaff, as do most, gets along famously with other dogs and breeds, playing chase, stick, and tug-of-war, of which she usually is proclaimed the winner. Contrary to popular belief, she does not have "locking jaws" either, another expression of ignorance.

So why am I ranting and raving on only my second day of re-entering the blogosphere? It is because I am tired of having to defend my loyal pooch to the insurance companies, the cities, and even the states that have deemed this breed and others to be unworthy of existence, and therefore banned. A few years ago, the city of Plano, TX decided that this breed, along with other "aggressive breeds" such as German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, etc. needed to be banned. Thankfully, they first conducted a study to see which breed has caused the most dog bites in the city. Hmmm, any guesses? It was the Golden Retriever folks. Thankfully, this ban was reconsidered after that. There are many irresponsible owners, and breeders who care only about money and not the breed who cause the rest of the owners and dogs to suffer. Please blame them whenever you hear the news-making stories. You won't hear the countless stories of everyday loyal, loving dogs of this same breed.

Thank you for listening.

Proud to be an Amstaff Mom

posted by Amstaff Mom | 10:28 AM | 6 comments

Friday, May 20, 2005

I'm baaaaaack

Hello Jes, Bianca, Ben , Eddo, Amanda Sue and any members of my past blog family. The Prodigal Daughter has returned, and I am just hoping that I will be accepted back with open arms. There is no need to kill the fattened calf though. I decided to go a more private route and create an alias for myself- Amstaff Mom. I am a proud mom to a 5 year old American Staffordshire Terrier, which are also called Amstaffs, so I decided to go through that theme for a lack of any other creative ideas.

I must admit, I stayed caught up on your blogs, so I am expecting to get chastised by the Blog Patrol for reading without commenting. I hereby do swear to now make comments and post new blogs as often as possible. I will adhere to the strict rules of the Blog Patrol, and I figured this is as good as time as any to re-enter into the blogosphere while the Delegation of Authority of the Blog Patrol is getting passed around like a bad cold. Is anybody in charge now that Jes is also on vacation?

Well, that is all for now.

AmStaff Mom

posted by Amstaff Mom | 7:14 PM | 4 comments